ALBANY -- Two local men are accused of coming up with a mobile killing machine that could be set off by remote control.
One of the suspects is alleged to be a Ku Klux Klan member who wanted to kill people he hates, specifically Muslims.
Prosecutors say the device would use lethal doses of X-ray radiation and was shopped to local Jewish organizations to kill enemies of Israel. Members of those groups tipped off law enforcement.
This investigation went on for 14 months and prosecutors say they were able to stop the deadly plot before anyone got hurt.
49-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford of Galway was in federal court this afternoon.
He is accused of recruiting 54-year-old Eric Feight of Hudson to help build an X-ray killing machine that included a device "to remotely turn on and off an industrial X-ray system powerful enough to kill humans from a distance," according to the criminal complaint.
"As we understand it, in this case, this device would be operable," said Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncan. "It would be capable of inflicting death on humans if used in the fashion for which it was designed. They said it was designed to be mobile."
The criminal complaint alleges Crawford was a member of the Ku Klux Klan who wanted to kill people he thought were undesirable-- people he called "medical waste," especially Muslims.
Prosecutors say Crawford went to Jewish organizations, telling them the device could be used by Israel to defeat its enemies.
The complaint said Crawford works at General Electric in Schenectady as an industrial mechanic and that Feight is an outside contractor who Crawford got to know through G.E.
Both men were arrested Tuesday. Crawford was picked up at an auto body shop on Route 40 in Schaghticoke.
"It appeared from the investigation that the process of assembling this particular device and moving it into an operational standard was close, although I will add, in this, that there never was a chance that the device would be allowed to become operational," said Duncan.
One aspect of this killing machine was that people would not be aware they were hit with lethal doses of radiation until days later, when they started to feel the effects.
Feight is due back in court Thursday for a detention hearing. Crawford could be back Thursday or Friday. Both men face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, if convicted.
According to the criminal complaint, Crawford ended one meeting with a confidential source by saying, "how much sweeter could there be than a big stack of smelly bodies."