NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Nashville man has pleaded guilty to federal charges after he hid weapons in the Davidson County Detention Center, vandalizing the jail in the process.
The Department of Justice says 52-year-old Alexander Friedmann pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Friedmann was charged in May 2020 after authorities discovered an elaborate scheme where he hid a variety of weapons and accessories in the Davidson County Downtown Detention Center (DDC) while it was under construction. On July 21, 2022, a state trial jury found Friedmann guilty on charges of felony vandalism. The vandalism totaled over $250,000 in damages.
“In my 35 years of law enforcement, rarely have I felt an individual needs to be held accountable to the greatest extent of the law as Alex Friedmann. He terrorized the entire Davidson County Sheriff’s Office downtown campus and today’s federal court action proves his evil plan was much broader than initially realized,” Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said.
Investigators say in December 2019, Friedmann dressed as a construction worker and got inside the key control room, propping open the door with a broom and, for several minutes, was alone in the room. Surveillance video showed him examining keys with security hubs on them. Friedmann is later shown taking two sets of keys and putting them in his right pocket. Shortly after, he is seen exiting the building.
More surveillance video showed Friedmann concealing tools, drilling into the walls and hiding weapons.
He was arrested in January 2020 after he was found on the property wearing a yellow reflective vest, a hard hat, protective gloves and a dust mask covering his face. Friedmann told employees with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office that he was there working, but it was quickly determined Friedmann was not employed by the construction company or any of its contractors.
At the time of his arrest, Friedmann had a hand drawn schematic of a portion of the DDC, which he tried to destroy by chewing it up and swallowing.
Further review of surveillance footage revealed that, beginning in August 2019, a man dressed as a construction worker and alleged to be Friedmann, went into the facility at least 10 different times, sometimes being accompanied by an accomplice who served as a lookout. The man was seen on video on several occasions removing material from the expansion joints in block walls and caulk from window areas. He then put items inside and covered the joints with another material.
On other occasions, he was seen checking different parts of the facility and making notes.
Investigators searched the areas on Feb. 10, 2020, and found three handguns, ammunition, handcuff keys, razor blades and other items.
Further investigation revealed that Friedmann owned a condominium in Nashville and contracted someone to build a 200 square foot fire-proof storage area made out of concrete block in a basement area of one of the buildings. Authorities executed a search warrant at the condo on March 13, 2020 and found that the room was used as a practice facility.
Authorities also noticed several inconsistencies in the mortar joints of the block walls, similar to those discovered at the DDC. It was also determined Friedmann had recently moved several locked storage crates from the room to a friend’s house on Whites Creek Pike in Joelton.
On March 20, 2020, authorities executed a search warrant at the Joelton location and recovered several crates that contained 21 firearms, including assault rifles, handguns, shotguns and a 37mm launcher.
Friedmann has also had previous run-ins with the law, having been convicted of prior felonies including armed robbery, assault with intent to commit first degree murder and attempted aggravated robbery.
Sentencing in scheduled for January 4, 2023. A sentencing hearing on Friedmann’s state charges is set for September 8, 2022, a Davidson County judge tells News 2.