The New York Criminal Law Blog

Tracing the Steps of the Terrorist 'Hippy' Couple

Ahem, alleged terrorist hippies.

And "hippy" is not our descriptor, but the words of a neighbor who spoke to the Gothamist. He described Morgan Gliedman, 27, as "very friendly, very nice" and her boyfriend Aaron Greene, 31, as "kind of cold, not the type of person who encouraged politeness." The two hippies, who were expecting a child, were arrested after police discovered explosives and a sawed-off shotgun in their apartment, along with a bit of reading material labeled, "The Terrorist Encyclopedia."

Whoops. Greene was indicted today on multiple felony weapons charges. Gliedman will probably be arraigned later, as she gave birth to a baby girl at St. Luke's Hospital earlier this week, reports the New York Post. In hopes that lessons can be learned from their mistakes, let's retrace the steps that brought them here.

Commit crimes to draw attention to yourself

He went to Harvard. She went to an elite prep school and is the daughter of a prominent oncologist. He reportedly stabbed a bouncer after stealing the man’s pizza. She allegedly stole a man’s laptop, cellphone, wallet and credit cards. Both are having their very ornate laundry aired out in public.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t their criminal past that led to the recent arrest - an anonymous tip came in to the police after they let someone use their shower. Those darn hippies … always caring about others.

Stockpile illegal materials

Acting on the tip, police searched the apartment and found seven grams of HMTD, a highly explosive white powder. The Post reports that police also found multiple shotguns, including the aforementioned sawed-off, along with some ammo and lots of manuals on explosives, terrorism, demolition, booby traps, homemade weapons, and of course, “Do It Yourself Submachine Gun.”

Profit - or not

The state charges alone should lead to significant jail time. Possession of a shotgun modified for concealment (that’s why shotguns are sawed-off) is a Class D felony, which could result in a sentence of up to seven years. Possession of explosives with intent to use is a class B felony, which carries up to twenty-five years. If the feds bring terrorism charges, that total could quickly increase even further.

It’s not all bad news

There’s a healthy baby girl. And Greene maintains that the explosives were just fireworks that he intended to use outside of the country. He is an outdoorsman, after all. He also told the Post that his beloved baby mama had nothing to do with the firearms and explosives. That might not be a defense to constructive possession (if it applies) but who knows - maybe the cops will buy it?

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