NEW YORK - Three men convicted of plotting to blow up Bronx synagogues and shoot down military planes at Stewart Airport in Orange County were sentenced to 25 years in prison today.

The sentence was imposed in a Manhattan federal court against James Cromitie, David Williams and Onta Williams. The three men, along with one other, were convicted last year of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and other charges. Their lawyers argued they deserved a break because the plot was part of an elaborate sting and never posed a threat.

But prosecutors described the men as "ticking time bombs" who needed to be taken off the streets for good.

The judge in the case said this was the most extraordinary case she's ever seen. She said that the men would have never "dreamed up the idea of shooting stinger missiles at anything" if it wasn't for the government's help.

Agents arrested them in 2009 after they planted fake devices supplied by the FBI in The Bronx while under heavy surveillance.

AP wires contributed to this report.