The FBI will be charging Vincent S. Armstrong, 23, in connection with an alleged domestic terror plot to pipe bomb an “upscale” Toledo, Ohio bar. The government alleges the plot was cooked up by Armstrong and his girlfriend Elizabeth “Bee” Ridge LeCron, according to the US Attorney.
LeCron was charged Monday by the US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio after she purchased “black powder and hundreds of screws that she expected would be used to make a bomb.” Calling it an act of terror, the government said LeCron “demonstrated that she was committed to seeing death and destruction in order to advance hate.”
Armstrong is being held for now in the Lucas County jail set to appear in federal court Wednesday on a charge likely to be similar to that leveled against LeCron; transportation of explosives and explosive material, namely black powder used for making a bomb, for the purposes of harming others and property.
According to the affidavit filed in federal court Monday, in June of 2018, an associate of both LeCron and Armstrong told police that Armstrong, who had recently moved in with LeCron, and his new girlfriend were plotting an attack that would result in mass casualties. The FBI had an informant and an undercover communicate with the couple who shared their plan to carry out a domestic terror attack.
You can read the full affidavit in support of the federal arrest warrant for LeCron here:
Here’s what you need to know:
1. During the Summer & Fall of 2018, LeCron & Armstrong Planned a Mass Murder, Had Weapons & Bought Bomb-Making Materials
In the government’s court filings, Armstrong was referred to as Subject-1. LeCron and Subject-1 discussed and wrote about a planned attack on a bar in Toledo described as an “upscale” terror attack. According to the affidavit filed in federal court,
the two wrote extensively in journals and discussed their plans with the tipster who said they’d seen the journal entries. Court records describe some of those entries beginning with one where LeCron is concerned about Armstrong’s homicidal ideation saying he’d told her he wanted to “murder.” She wrote she was worried and added she told him “soon” that would happen. In another entry, Armstrong wrote he had a “vision to kill …to hunt the unwilling.”
“These peasants to society. The hatred towards the human race is bewildering. It makes me feel so good to know I will end it all. Very soon.”
The couple was true crime devotees on Tumblr and worshipped mass murders and school shooters, the Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in particular and flew to Colorado on a sightseeing trip in homage to the teen mass murders. While they were gone, the feds searched their house and cars, hers a Kia and his a Chrysler.
In the house, they found an AK-47, handguns, a shotgun, and ammunition as well as end caps sued in bomb-making.
2. The Tipster Told Police Armstrong Had Changed When he Hooked up With LeCron. Soon, the FBI’s Northwest Ohio Joint Terrorism Task Force Had an Undercover Agent Involved
The tipster told authorities that Armstrong’s behavior had begun to change; he wore only black and camo, often went with LeCron to a shooting range and the two were obsessed with anarchist ideas and, based on the two’s social media, in particular, Tumblr, they often posted and re-blogged posts that glorified mass murderers including Harris and Klebold but also Nickolas Cruz, the alleged Parkland, Florida school shooter, and convicted mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof. The latter LeCron communicated with as he awaits his execution for the slaying of 9 African-American church-goers in a mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015.
From the beginning, investigators were shocked by the “frequently posted voluminous photographs and comments on social media glorifying mass murderers, including the Columbine shooters and Dylann Roof.”
3. The Tumblr Pages Were a Window Into The Couple’s Ideologies & Plans for Mass Murder
After LeCron’s Tumblr account ‘ligaturemarkings’ was shut down because of offensive content, she created a new one; CharlestonChurchMiracle, where she continued to post photos and comments about mass casualty attacks. Court records and her Tumblr pages show the seriousness with which the platform took her commentary – they shut her page down – but also even people on Tumblr from the True Crime community who said she was “disturbed.” Court records reveal a Tumblr user comment on a LeCron post, “U were trying to kill! U are scary admit urself into a ward. U and ur BF are the next mass shooters if someone doesn’t stop you!!!!”
In September, Lecron met with undercover FBI agents and stated she and an associate started to make a pipe bomb. She stated she “definitely want(ed) to make a statement up here” and thought the place where she worked could be a good target because she believed they were polluting the river behind the plant.
On Dec. 8, LeCron met with the undercover source at a retail sporting good stores, where she entered the store by herself and purchased two pounds of Hodgson Triple Seven Muzzleloading Propellant. She then went to a larger retailer in Perrysburg, where she purchased 665 screws of various sizes, some as large as three inches.
LeCron said to the source: “So I guess I’ll talk to you when the deed is done?” She later said: “I’m very excited…stick it to him man …be safe.”
She is being held without bail.
4. Armstrong Graduated From Clay High School in Oregon, Ohio & Later Studied Business Administration at Owens Community College. Former Classmates Took to Twitter to Express Surprise. His Grandmother Was Stunned
“I grew up with him, used to be at his house all the time and never would have expected ??”
“OMG. Vince Armstrong was arrested in connection to this too???”
Armstrong’s grandmother, Laura Armstrong, told The Blade she was stunned: “It’s just gut-wrenching and very sad. I have no clue where this came from. We totally weren’t expecting it.”
5. Armstrong’s Mainstream Social Media Accounts Have Not Been Updated in a Year But Offer Some Insight Perhaps; He’s a Vegan & ‘Writer of Poetry’
On his Facebook page, Armstrong posted a number of racist memes in the past several years. He also shared his affinity fo music. And tattoos. ON his Twitter page, he described himself as a vegan and a poet.
In his last written post on Facebook, Armstrong penned: “I am nothing like you, and no I’m not the type to follow bullshit y’all give the hype to. I can see the fakes, so when I look in your direction understand I’m seein’ right through.” A commenter suggested Armstrong was Solaire of Astora, an undead god of war character in ‘Dark Souls,” the RPG video game.
In a post one year ago to the day, he wrote:
On his Twitter page, he often re-tweeted Elon Musk and Bernie Sanders.