ROCHESTER, New York (AP) — The last of four young men who US authorities say planned to use homemade explosives against an upstate New York Muslim community has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Twenty-year-old Vincent Vetromile appeared Tuesday in Monroe County Court. He had pleaded guilty in June to a weapons charge.
Vetromile, 20-year-old Brian Colaneri, 19-year-old Andrew Crysel and a 16-year-old were accused of planning an attack on Islamberg, a community of about 200 people in Delaware County.
Colaneri and Crysel were sentenced last month to four to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism conspiracy. The youngest defendant, who’s now 17, was sentenced to seven years.
Investigators said the Rochester-area residents had access to 23 rifles and shotguns and three homemade explosives when they were arrested in January.
It was a lunchroom comment by one of the students during school that launched the investigation.
“He looks like the next school shooter, doesn’t he?” the student allegedly said while showing students a picture of another boy on his phone, according to Phelan.
A student who heard the comment “did what we teach kids to do and told somebody,” the chief said.
School security and Greece police interviewed both students and others and eventually uncovered their plot. The timing of the attack was unknown.
The rural community in Delaware County is operated by The Muslims of America, an American Muslim organization based in the US, which runs 21 others in North America. It was settled by followers of Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarik Gilani. The mostly African-American settlers first came to the area in the 1980s to escape crime and crowding in New York City.
Police and analysts have dismissed accusations that the 60-acre community is a terrorist training ground, but the claims have persisted for decades.