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Protesters plead not guilty to RNC charges

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Equipped with SWAT gear, the St. Paul police force stood against a wall of photographers and cameras at a rally during the Republican National Convention.
MPR photo/Caroline Yang

Two Texas men indicted on charges of trying to disrupt the Republican National Convention with homemade explosives pleaded not guilty today. 

The government alleged that Bradley Crowder, 23,  and David McKay, 22, had manufactured Molotov cocktails to hurl at police cars during last month's RNC.  That information was based on two FBI informants and audio and video surveillance. 

McKay's attorney Jeff Degree said his client is taking a cautious approach in pleading not guilty. He says he's still waiting to see the government's reports, and will focus on the conduct of some of the FBI's informants.

"It's pretty clear from what's been filed here and in other courts in Minnesota that law enforcement has been using some pretty aggressive techniques with informants, infiltrating all of these different groups," said Degree. "Informants always have their own agendas and their own reasons for doing what they're doing."

Both men are in custody.  The court set their trial to begin Nov. 24 in federal court in MInneapolis.