COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A man who threatened to crash a plane into the Anheuser-Busch plant on Columbus’ North Side was sentenced today.
James Meade II was sentenced to three years of Community Control, also known as a 36-month “reserved” or “pending” prison sentence. The reserve or pending status means Meade will not serve any prison time unless he fails to fulfill the conditions of his community control.
Franklin County Municipal Court judge Andy Miller also ordered Meade to serve 200 hours of community service, maintain verifiable employment and was fined $2,000. He is also barred from using social media and prohibited from communicating with his co-defendant, Thomas Develin. Develin was charged with making terroristic threats against Columbus Torah Academy, a K-12 Jewish school in the Greenbriar Farm neighborhood of Columbus.
In December 2022, Meade, who was originally charged with making terroristic threats on a social media platform, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of inciting violence, a third-degree felony.
One year prior, in December 2021, police say Meade wrote on Discord about stealing a plane and targeting the Anheuser-Busch plant, visible from Interstate 270 near its interchange with I-71. Court documents show he wrote, “I hope they got a terrorism insurance plan the day before.”
Meade, who is from Chesterhill in Morgan County, was given a $40,000 bond in April before reaching his plea agreement and sentencing, which was based off of a joint recommendation from council. He faced a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Meade and Develin both joined the Ohio National Guard in 2016 and 2017 respectively but have each been suspended.