(Cleveland) - Two men from Erie, Pennsylvania are facing federal charges for being some of the instigators of last weekend's violence in downtown Cleveland that ended up being part of what had been a peaceful demonstration in memory of George Floyd.
Court documents say Brandon Michael Althof-Long, and Devon Bryce Poland, both believed to be in their 20s, brought a pistol, and equipment to start fires to the Saturday protests. Charges include transporting firearms or explosives for a civil disorder, conspiracy to use fire or explosives to commit a felony, and organizing a riot.
Facebook Messenger posts between the two were reviewed by the FBI. They conversed about having the supplies to make Molotov cocktails.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Smith says their entire purpose was to "fan the flames of rioters, and I quote from their messages, 'It's a once in a lifetime thing.'"
In a related incident, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams announced at the same news conference that five people were arrested outside Progressive Field early Friday morning. They were spotted by Cleveland Police during the downtown curfew. In their car were firestarters, and other evidence that they were planning to protest.
(Photos of Long and Poland courtesy FBI)
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