Maryland Woman Admits Plotting Baltimore Power Grid Attack with Neo-Nazi Leader

Conspiracy Led by Extremist Group Sympathizer

A Maryland woman has admitted guilt in a plot to cripple Baltimore’s power grid, acting in collaboration with the leader of a neo-Nazi group.

Ideologically Motivated Attack

Sarah Beth Clendaniel, 36, of Catonsville, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiring with Brandon Russell, founder of the white supremacist group Atomwaffen Division. Court documents allege Clendaniel and Russell believed sniper attacks on Baltimore’s electrical substations would “serve to break down society.”

Extremist Connection and Romantic Involvement

Clendaniel and Russell began corresponding in 2018 while incarcerated in separate facilities. Their letters reportedly blossomed into a romantic relationship that persisted after their releases. Russell served five years for explosives charges related to a fatal shooting at an apartment he shared with another Atomwaffen founder.

Charges and Potential Penalties

Clendaniel’s guilty plea addresses two charges: conspiracy to damage electrical facilities and possession of a firearm by a felon. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, while the gun charge could result in up to 15 years of imprisonment.

Russell Awaits Trial

Brandon Russell, a former member of the Florida National Guard, faces the same conspiracy charge as Clendaniel and will stand trial at a later date.