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North Georgia men move toward trial in suspected terror plot case
A drawing shows Ray Adams, left, and Samuel Crump.
Planning for a possible trial is moving ahead in the case against two North Georgia men accused of what prosecutors call a terror plot targeting government officials and U.S. cities.U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan S. Cole on Thursday set a pretrial conference for 11 a.m. on July 11 in Gainesville for Ray Adams, 55, and Samuel Crump, 68, both of Toccoa.Adams and Crump face federal charges of conspiring and attempting to make a biological toxin called ricin.Two other suspects, Frederick Thomas of Cleveland and Dan Roberts of Toccoa, have pleaded guilty to conspiring to get an unregistered explosive and an illegal gun silencer.The four were arrested in early November after at least seven months of surveillance by an undercover informant who infiltrated their meetings at homes, during car rides and in a Waffle House restaurant.At a hearing shortly after the arrests, prosecutors claimed Adams provided Crump with castor beans, which are the main ingredient in ricin.Crump’s attorney, Dan Summer, argued at the time that while a search of his client’s residence found castor beans, Crump didn’t have the means to actually create the toxin.Prosecutors claimed the two had plans to spread the ricin along roadways.Cole’s ruling to deny bond in November focused on Adams’ threat to the community.She cited a statement Adams made during a meeting with other defendants and a confidential source.In the recording he said, “The ones in the government buildings should be the first to die.” The defense attorneys claimed that statement was taken out of context.The defendants, who are part of a fringe militia group called the Covert Group, were attempting to establish a united Georgia militia group to serve as “the governor’s army,” defense attorney Jeff Ertel, who represents Thomas, said in November.