PHOENIX - Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a State Grand Jury indicted an Arizona inmate and his wife on state terrorism charges. Thomas Orville Bastian and Michelle Marie Bastian are accused of acting together while plotting to commit an act of terrorism at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Lewis. It is alleged that they conspired to construct and set off an explosive device within the prison facility.
Thomas Bastian is charged with 4 felony counts including Terrorism, Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism, Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism Involving Weapons, and Conspiracy to Promote Prison Contraband.
Michelle Bastian is charged with 5 felony counts including Terrorism, Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism, Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct Involving Weapons, Conspiracy to Promote Prison Contraband, and Promoting Prison Contraband.
The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Phoenix Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Arizona Department of Corrections, and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
“Homegrown terror attacks are being planned in our communities, our cities, and our state,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "The Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the FBI will continue to work together to arrest and prosecute anyone plotting or planning a terrorist attack.”
"Terrorism remains the FBI's top priority and we work closely with our federal, state, and local partners to ensure the safety of our community," said Michael DeLeon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office. "This investigation demonstrates the inherent danger of terrorist propaganda, and also highlights law enforcement's commitment to combat terrorism. Once again, I would like to commend the efforts of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Arizona Attorney General's Office and the Department of Corrections for their integral role in this investigation."
“The Arizona Department of Corrections is proud of our longstanding relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies,” said ADC Director Charles L. Ryan. “Our common goals of public safety are well served and represented by successful collaborative investigations such as this.”
All defendants are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.
Assistant Arizona Attorneys General Blaine Gadow and Scott Blake are prosecuting this case.
Full copy of the indictments.