Ohio National Guard member threatened to crash plane into an Anheuser-Busch plant, police say

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A member of the Ohio National Guard has been accused of threatening to crash a stolen plane into the Anheuser-Busch plant in Columbus.

James Ricky Meade II, 26, has been charged with a third-degree felony of making a terrorist threat after having posted on social media in December that he wanted to steal a plane and crash it into the Anheuser-Busch plant. 

A woman filed a complaint to local law enforcement and alerted the Ohio National Guard after having seen the posts. The complaint was filed with the Franklin County Municipal Court on March 30. Court records also reflect a warrant was issued for Meade’s arrest that same day.

Meade was arrested at his Chesterhill home on Monday by members of the Ohio Highway Patrol. Members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team were at the scene, according to Charles Sanso, a deputy supervisor for the U.S. Marshals Service.

Airmen assigned to the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing stand at attention, along with family and friends during a Call to Duty ceremony March 6, 2022 in Springfield, Ohio. The Airmen are scheduled to deploy to support U.S. Central Command operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Colin Simpson)

Meade was initially jailed in Zanesville but will eventually be transferred to Franklin County jail where he will face charges. 

Meade enlisted in the Ohio National Guard in 2017 and was working as an air defense battle management system operator with the 2nd Battalion of the 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment based in McConnelsville prior to his arrest. 

Meade is currently the second Guard member to have been arrested for making terrorist threats this week alone. Thomas Develin, 24, was arrested on March 30 after making threats toward the Columbus Torah Academy, a local private Jewish school. 

Both men are still members of the Ohio National Guard. However, all of their security clearances and possible favorable actions, including promotions and transfers, have been suspended, according to Stephanie Beougher, a spokeswoman for the Ohio National Guard.

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