An Ohio woman pleaded guilty to conspiring to launch a terrorist attack on a Toledo bar, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio said Elizabeth Lecron had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to terrorists and another count of transporting explosives in interstate commerce.
Lecron plotted with Vincent Armstrong from April to December 2018, a period in which Lecron introduced Armstrong to the online “True Crime Community,” according to the Justice Department.
Prosecutors said she was particularly fascinated with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and the 2015 Charleston, S.C., massacre, in which white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine African American churchgoers.
Lecron and Armstrong allegedly began discussing and formulating a mass murder of their own, which they referred to as “D-Day.” The two planned to use an AK-47 Armstrong owned and a shotgun Lecron purchased, as well as a pipe bomb they researched how to construct.
Lecron also discussed the planned massacre with an informant and undercover agents in 2018, according to the Justice Department.
“This defendant has admitted to plotting a terrorist attack in downtown Toledo,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “She purchased a shotgun, black powder, screws and other items for the purpose of launching mass-casualty attacks.”
“For years we have used this statute to prosecute those who supported our enemies abroad, and are gratified we are able to use it to hold accountable people who planned to attack our neighbors, regardless of ideology,” he added.
“The two recent mass shootings … remind us that without the vigilance of the citizen that alerted law enforcement of Lecron and Armstrong’s desire to kill, Toledo could have been the site of a massacre,” said special agent in charge Eric B. Smith, referencing the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which killed 31 people.
“Law enforcement urges the public to report suspicious, concerning behavior — see something, say something,” he added.
Armstrong pleaded guilty to his part in planning the mass killing earlier this month.