NATO 3 Sentenced To 5 To 8 Years In Prison
CHICAGO (CBS) — Three men convicted for making crude incendiary devices to potentially disrupt the NATO summit in Chicago two years ago were sentenced to five to eight years in prison on Friday.
The so-called NATO 3 — Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly — were convicted in February of possessing incendiary devices but were cleared of terrorism charges.
Church was sentenced to 5 years, Chase to 8 years and Betterly to 6.
Each has served nearly two years, 709 days, so far.
The attorneys for the NATO 3 stressed at the sentencing hearing that none of the men was convicted of terrorism and should not be given the 14 year sentences sought by prosecutors.
The high-profile trial raised questions about police entrapment, the First Amendment and whether the men were “overcharged” for their activities and drunken discussions before the NATO summit here two years ago.
State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez vociferously defended charging the men under a little-used state terrorism statute and said she was proud of the two undercover officers who unveiled what prosecutors said was a dangerous plot to set police officers on fire and destroy police stations, President Barack Obama’s headquarters and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home.
“Have we forgotten about Boston? Have we forgotten about homemade bombs in backpacks?” she said following the Feb. 7 verdicts.
Church, Chase and Betterly were arrested on May 16, 2012, after four Molotov cocktails were made out of beer bottles at the Bridgeport apartments they were living in at the time.