NATO 3 get sentences ranging from five to eight years - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

NATO 3 get sentences ranging from five to eight years

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Brent Betterly, Brian Church, Jared Chase Brent Betterly, Brian Church, Jared Chase
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A Cook County judge Friday sentenced three out-of-town activists known as the NATO 3 to significant prison sentences, ranging from 5 to 8 years.

Brian Church, 22, got 5 years in prison; Jared Chase, 29, got 8 years, and Brent Betterly, 26, received 6 years, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Each had faced between four and 30 years in prison for possession of an incendiary device and misdemeanor mob action.

Cook County Judge Thaddeus Wilson said the men’s actions might not have constituted terrorism but what they did was terrorizing.

Jurors cleared the men of more serious terrorism charges in early February.

Prosecutors sought a 14-year sentence for the men.

The high-profile trial raised questions about police entrapment, the First Amendment and whether the men were “overcharged” for their activities and drunken discussions before the NATO summit here two years ago.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez vociferously defended charging the men under a little-used state terrorism statute and said she was proud of the two undercover officers who unveiled what prosecutors said was a dangerous plot to set police officers on fire and destroy police stations, President Barack Obama’s headquarters and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home.

“Have we forgotten about Boston? Have we forgotten about homemade bombs in backpacks?” she said following the Feb. 7 verdicts.

Church, Chase and Betterly were arrested on May 16, 2012, after four Molotov cocktails were made out of beer bottles at the Bridgeport apartments they were living in at the time.

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