The ringleader of the four-man homegrown terror cell accused of plotting to blow up synagogues in the Bronx and military planes in Newburgh admitted to a judge today that he had smoked pot before his bust last night.
When U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa M. Smith asked James Cromitie if his judgment was impaired during his appearance in federal court in White Plains, the 55-year-old confessed: “No. I smoke it regularly…I understand everything you are saying.”
The stunning revelation came as three of the four accused plotters made their first court appearances following their dramatic arrest by the NYPD and FBI last night as they drove in an SUV that they believed was laden with plastic explosives. The men did not enter a plea and no bail request was made, but federal prosecutors warned that these were deadly men with murder on their minds.
“These are extremely violent men,” said Prosecutor Eric Snyder. “These are people eager to bring death to Jews.”
Cromitie and two brothers, Onta and David Williams, were present in court. The fourth suspect, Leguerre Payen, was not present and is reportedly being held in Bellevue Hospital, sources said.
Though all three are accused of deadly domestic terror plot, David Williams was singled out by prosecutors as being particularly violent.
“When he bought a gun in a Brooklyn project, he said that if the informant wasn’t there he would have shot the gang leader to get the $700 back,” Snyder said about a meeting between Williams and an alleged Blood gangster in Brooklyn.
The men are due back in court on June 5 and defense attorney Suzane Brody reserved the right to request bail.
“Of course, there is more to the story,” said Brody.