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Ohio man, 25, accused of illegally climbing Mackinac Bridge in November

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

An Ohio man whose photos went viral on social media has been charged with illegally climbing the Mackinac Bridge last November, Michigan State Police said Friday.

Isaac Kendall Wright, 25, of Cincinnati, also known as "Drift" by his fans, is currently being held in an Ohio jail, according to Michigan State Police.

Wright

State officials said Wright was arraigned via videoconference Thursday in 89th District Court in Cheboygan on a felony trespass upon a key transportation facility. A judge scheduled a preliminary exam of the case against him for March 5, 2021.

If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.

Police accuse Wright of trespassing and illegally scaling the Mackinac Bridge on Nov. 5, 2020.

Authorities were first made aware of the crime after photographs taken from the top of the bridge's south tower surfaced on social media. Investigators reviewed surveillance video of the bridge and confirmed someone had climbed to the top of the bridge.

MoreInvestigation launched into photos shot atop Mackinac Bridge

MorePhotographer scales Ambassador, other landmarks, for bird's-eye photos

They also discovered that a number of other law enforcement agencies were investigating similar crimes believed to have been committed by the same person. Working together, they identified Wright as the suspect and he was arrested near Flagstaff, Ariz. 

He was then extradited to Ohio to face criminal charges. Wright was wanted on a burglary charge, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office web site. It also said he posted $20,000 bond but couldn't be released until he was fitted with an electronic tether.

However, the site said he is a fugitive wanted in Cheboygan County and he has been ordered to be held without bond.

Among the photos posted to his Instagram account are composite images of the Northern Lights and the bridge as well as as sunset photos which garnered thousands of likes and approving comments. 

The Mackinac Bridge Authority did not feel positive about the stunt. 

"This is not a harmless stunt; it's inexcusably reckless," Mackinac Bridge Authority Executive Secretary Kim Nowack said at the time.

This isn't the first time the photographer with that Instagram account has caused an uproar for climbing a bridge in Michigan

Back in September, his account on Instagram posted photos 152 feet up to the top of the Ambassador Bridge, which spans the Detroit River and connects Michigan to Windsor, Ontario, in Canada.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez