Katy-area man among 2 people sentenced for conspiring to attack nation's power grid

KTRK logo
Saturday, April 22, 2023
Katy man sentenced to 5 years in plot to attack US power grid
According to court records, Jonathan Frost and Christopher Cook planned to shoot down the nation's electric grid causing widespread blackouts, hoping to incite a race war.

Two men have been sentenced for their roles in attempting to incite a race war with an attack on the nation's power grid, a plot that alleged into motion beginning in February 2020.

A federal judge sentenced Katy man Jonathan Frost, 24, and Ohio man Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, to five years in prison after they both pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

According to the FBI, Frost, Cook, and a man, Jackson Matthew Sawall, 22, admitted wanting to immobilize electric systems across the United States by shooting them down with rifles.

Court documents say that in 2019, Frost and Cook met in an online chat group, where Frost shared the idea of attacking the grid, and shortly after recruited Sawall.

From there, the trio sorted out a detailed plan. Court records said that each man would be placed at a substation in the United States and would attack them with powerful rifles, starting blackouts.

The men also stated that they hoped the widespread blackouts would have Americans fighting against each other.

The FBI said that the planning was steeped to spread white supremacy, court documents said.

All three met in Columbus, Ohio, to discuss the plot, as Cook provided Frost with an AR-15, and the two went to a shooting range to train, officials said.

Their plan derailed after being stopped by the police. During the stop, Sawall ingested what was called a "suicide pill" given to him by Frost in case they were caught by law enforcement. Sawall ultimately survived.

According to officials, Sawall pleaded guilty to the same charges and will be sentenced later.

Documents said that Frost and Cook continued to travel and drove to Texas in March 2020, where they both attempted to recruit juveniles for their plot. But they were arrested that month.