(Reuters) - Two St. Louis men have been indicted on federal explosives charges in connection with a plot to set off bombs during the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, authorities said on Thursday.
Olajuwon Davis and Brandon Orlando Baldwin, both 22, are accused of conspiring to acquire explosives to damage a building, vehicle and other unidentified property, according to the indictment filed on Wednesday.
"The arrests last November of these two defendants, who are members of the St. Louis Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, prevented their alleged plot to carry out violent acts during the protests in Ferguson," FBI Special Agent in Charge William Woods said in a statement on Thursday.
If convicted of conspiracy to damage or destroy a building and earlier firearms offenses, Baldwin and Davis would face up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Davis and Baldwin were charged in November with federal firearms offenses days before a grand jury declined to charge white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
According to the indictment, Baldwin said in November he wanted to build bombs and see them blow up and that he "wanted multiple bombs to use against people, buildings, vehicles and property."
Davis took possession on Nov. 21 of what he believed were "three high explosives or bombs," the indictment said.
The FBI and other federal agencies were reported to have stepped up their presence in the St. Louis area in the days before the grand jury announcement in anticipation of renewed protests.
(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Eric Beech)