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Federal complaint details potential “bloodbath” at jail if escape plot had occurred

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The U.S. Attorney of Middle Tennessee called it a “bloodbath” of a plan. The Sheriff of Davidson County simply called it evil.

The latest development in the case against 50-year-old Alex Friedmann includes details of what federal prosecutors said was a well-orchestrated plan to help inmates escape the Davidson County Jail.

Alex Friedmann arrested

Alex Friedmann

The plan included weapons and handcuff keys hidden behind concrete walls and a 37-mm launcher to fire flares and gas stashed among an arsenal of weapons, according to the complaint.

Friedmann also faces state charges of attempted burglary and vandalism after being accused of dressing up like a construction worker to repeatedly infiltrate the construction site and plant weapons to allow inmates to riot and escape the facility.

Already a convicted felon from an armed robbery in the 1990s, Friedmann on to become a respected advocate for jail reform, speaking with News4 Investigates on several occasions to give his perspective on prison issues.

The new federal complaint details how a review of surveillance footage found that beginning in August 2019, someone dressed up like a construction worker – believed to be Friedmann – entered the facility at least 10 times.

The complaint reads he was accompanied by someone who acted as a lookout.

The person, believed to be Friedmann, removed material from the expansion joints in block walls and caulk from window areas and then placed items inside and covered the joints with another material.

Based on those videos, on Feb 10 investigators found three handguns, ammunition, handcuffs keys and razor blades in places such as inmate visitation rooms and an inmate restroom.

Investigators then determined that Friedmann owned a condo in a complex and hired someone to build at 200-square-foot fire-proof storage area, made out of concrete, in a basement area of one of the buildings.

The complaint reads that Friedmann started acted erratically as investigators moved in on his home.

Following a search warrant of the basement, investigators determined it was used as a practice facility, noting inconsistencies in the mortar joints of the block walls that were similar to what was discovered at the Downtown Detention Center.

Investigators also determined that Friedmann had asked a friend to store legal documents at their home on Whites Creek Pike in Joelton.

But when investigators arrived, they found several crates that contained 21 firearms, including assault rifles, handguns, shotguns and a 37-mm launcher capable of firing flares and gas.

Friedmann’s attorney, Ben Raybin, sent a short statement to News4 Investigates that they had received the complaint and would respond appropriately.

Related coverage

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Davidson Co. Sheriff to replace 1800 locks in new jail before opening
Criminal justice advocate accused of planting tools & weapons inside jail
Two downtown detention centers, one major problem: unexpected, spiraling costs
More ammunition and weapons found hidden inside downtown detention center

Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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