An Ohio woman who authorities say sent fan letters to convicted mass shooter Dylann Roof was charged in federal court this week after allegedly planning to commit a mass attack of her own.
Elizabeth Lecron, a 23-year-old resident of Toledo, Ohio, had devised plans for an “upscale mass murder” at a local bar, and had purchased gunpowder and upwards of 600 screws as part of her plot to build bombs, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Ohio. Lecron has since been charged with one count of transportation of explosives and explosive material for the purposes of harming others and property, the office said on Monday.
Law enforcement officials began investigating Lecron this year after an associate of hers “expressed a desire to conduct a violent attack,” according to an affidavit. Investigators then discovered her fascination with mass murderers, including Columbine shooters Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, and Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who was sentenced to death last year after killing nine churchgoers at a predominately African American church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015.
Lecron sent letters and Nazi propaganda to the incarcerated Roof and visited Columbine High School around the same time, according to authorities. Lecron’s online activity was particularly damning; she allegedly ran a Tumblr page called “CharlestonChurchMiracle,” where she posted content glorifying mass acts of violence and those who commit them.
Lecron repeatedly admitted her intentions to commit terrorist attacks while speaking to undercover FBI agents and their anonymous sources, according to U.S. Attorney's Office. She allegedly revealed in August that she and an unnamed associate had plans to commit “upscale mass murder” at a bar in Toledo, a location chosen for its lack of escape routes, a detail she thought would be helpful in a firefight with police. She also expressed a desire to form partnerships with people with similar goals, and had interest in targeting livestock farms as well as her place of work, which she felt was guilty of polluting the environment, authorities said.
Lecron spoke to an undercover agent on Dec. 4 about a potential pipe bomb attack, and agreed to buy the materials needed. She was observed purchasing gunpowder and screws days later, on Dec. 8, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. She was arrested that same day, the Daily Beast reports. Authorities allegedly found bomb making materials, as well as a cache of weapons that included a semi-automatic rifle and a journal in which she wrote about her murderous plans, after raiding her apartment, according to the outlet.
“Removing Elizabeth Lecron from the ranks of civilized society by virtue of arrest and prosecution thwarts her explicitly stated desire to engage in acts of death and destruction,” FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fortunato said, according to the news release. “This case is a testament to the value of an ever vigilant public, which had the courage to alert law enforcement as to the evil goals and intentions of this suspect.”
[Photo: Lucas County Corrections Center]
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