CLEVELAND (WJW)– A federal jury found a Cleveland man guilty in his attempt to ambush law enforcement officers.
Christian Ferguson, 21, was convicted on two counts of attempted kidnapping on Friday.
The FBI began investigating in April 2020 after a tipster reported violent and extremist posts in a chatroom. According to court records, Ferguson planned to make a fake call to emergency services to lure federal law enforcement to a remote location, where he planned to rob them of their weapons and body armor.
“Mr. Ferguson devised a plan, and took steps to see it through, that involved placing a fake distress call to lure responding officers to the scene so that he could violently attack them, steal their department-issued weapons and equipment, and incite various militias to similarly attempt to overthrow the U.S. government and its institutions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Brennan.
“Exploiting first responders’ most solemn obligation, to protect and serve, as a way of luring them into a violent ambush and inciting violence against our democratic institutions was cowardly, heinous, and, as Mr. Ferguson’s jury determined today, criminal.”
Investigators said Ferguson discussed buying high-powered firearms and creating homemade explosives. He also talked about how to kill multiple people and dispose their bodies, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
He was arrested on May 8, 2020 in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park when he made a hoax call to test the park rangers’ response time.
Ferguson will be sentenced on Aug. 27.