Self-proclaimed neo-Nazi arrested for plotting to blow up Maryland power grid

Tampa defendant and self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, Brandon Russell, is back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

After serving five years in prison on explosive charges, Russell was recently arrested, while on probation, for plotting to blow up the power grid in Maryland. Attorney Anthony Rickman reviewed the case for FOX 13.

READ: UK baby-killer Lucy Letby sentenced to life in prison: 'Malevolence bordering on sadism'

"The FBI has classified him as a domestic terrorist," explained Attorney Anthony Rickman, who reviewed the case for FOX 13. 

Russell and his co-conspirator, Sarah Beth Clendaniel, planned sniper attacks on several substations in Maryland.

Russell and Clendaniel

Russell and Sarah Beth Clendaniel planned sniper attacks.

"He wanted to shut down the grid system for a period of time during the cold of winter. And him doing this, if he would’ve accomplished his plan, people would’ve died," explained Rickman.

During a federal court hearing, both defendants were asking for a speedy trial which could be a defense strategy, however, Rickman said it could backfire.

"If this defendant thinks he’s going to demand speedy because he’s going to catch the government off guard I don’t think that’s the case here," said Rickman.

READ: Driver accused in DUI crash that killed mom of 3 strikes plea deal after skipping town, delaying trial

In 2017, Russell pleaded guilty to making homemade bombs at his Tampa apartment. Russell also had a hit list that included Tampa synagogues and a flower plant near Miami.

Russell was also the leader of the Neo-Nazi group, Atomwaffen, and activity recruiting members around the country. 

In 2017, officials discovered that Russell was making homemade bombs.

In 2017, officials discovered that Russell was making homemade bombs.

Russell’s twisted plot was revealed after his roommate, Devon Arthurs, shot and killed his two roommates after they teased him for converting to the Muslim faith. He then pointed police to Russell's bombs and sinister plan.

Arthurs is now serving a 45-year sentence on those murders. Russell is looking at decades in prison if convicted of this latest charge.

"He’s dangerous. This dangerous person will most likely be convicted and placed behind bars for a very long time," predicted Rickman.

A federal judge set a September deadline for prosecutors to turn over all their discovery on the case. In December, the judge is expected to set a trial date.