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Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
04/02/2015

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2 Missouri men indicted on federal explosives and weapons charges

New Black Panther members in alleged attempt to disrupt Ferguson protests

ST. LOUIS — Two St. Louis men were indicted in federal court Thursday on multiple charges related to a conspiracy to blow up buildings, vehicles and other property in the metropolitan area.

These indictments resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the St Louis County Police Department and the St Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Olajuwon Davis, 22, and Brandon Orlando Baldwin, 22, both of St. Louis, were each indicted by a federal grand jury on the following charges:

  • One felony count of conspiracy to damage or destroy a building, vehicle and other property by use of an explosive,
  • Conspiracy to make false written statements in connection with the purchase of firearms,
  • The transfer of firearms to a felon, and
  • Two felony counts of making false written statements in connection with a firearms purchase.
“The coordinated efforts of local and federal law enforcement to identify and disrupt the alleged efforts of the defendants is an outstanding example of law enforcement’s dedication and resilience to protecting the local community during the daily protests spurred by the incident in Ferguson, Missouri,” said Special Agent in Charge Gary Hartwig, of HSI Chicago. “HSI remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the innocent and safeguard St. Louis and its surrounding communities.”

“The arrests last November of these two defendants, who are members of the St. Louis Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, prevented their alleged plot to carry out violent acts during the protests in Ferguson,” said Special Agent in Charge William P. Woods of the FBI St. Louis Division.

Davis and Baldwin were originally indicted in November on one felony count of making false written statements in connection with a firearms purchase at a local Cabela’s store. The additional charges in the superseding indictment were returned April 1, 2015.

According to the latest indictment, between September 2014 and November 21, 2014, Davis and Baldwin conspired to obtain what they believed were explosives or bombs. In the days before their arrest Baldwin is alleged to have said he wanted multiple bombs to use against people, buildings, vehicles and other property. Davis and Baldwin are also alleged to have both viewed a recording of the detonation of an explosive device. And, on November 18, Davis is alleged to have paid a deposit and agreed to purchase what he believed were three explosive devices.

Days later, Davis and Baldwin traveled to a location where Davis took possession of items he believed were explosives. Both men were then arrested and have remained in custody since that time.

The indictment also charges Davis and Baldwin with conspiring to obtain firearms for other persons (called a straw purchase) by making false statements to the Cabela’s store in Hazelwood, Missouri. Baldwin claimed to be buying firearms for himself when they were really destined for other people.

If convicted, these charges each carry penalties ranging from five to 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/03/2015