The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), for the Northern District of Ohio, has announced the arrest of a suspect in the recent series of bomb threats called into courthouses in several states. The threats began in November and continued through to December 2012. Threats were received in courthouses and other federal buildings in Nebraska, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, and Mississippi. (See Emergency Film Group’s report about the bomb threats here: Courthouse Bomb Threats Plague Several States.)
Lonny Lee Bristow, 38, of Mansfield, Ohio, has been charged with one count of Title 18, U.S.C. 844(e), which states: through the use of the mail, telephone, and other instrument of interstate or foreign commerce or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce willfully made a threat and maliciously conveyed false information knowing the same to be false concerning an attempt or alleged attempt to damage or destroy any building by means of an explosive.
Details of the FBI’s investigation revealed that several pre-paid calling cards purchased by Bristow at a Walmart Supercenter in Upper Sandusky, Ohio were linked to the bomb threats. During a search of Bristow’s residence, FBI agents seized computers, digital storage devices, other electronic equipment, documents, bank cards, weapons and ammunition.
In his initial appearance in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Bristow waived his right to a detention hearing and preliminary hearing, meaning he will be held without bond until his case is reviewed by a federal grand jury, according to court documents.
“Lonny Bristow induced panic in hundreds of people across several states who were simply trying to do their work,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI. “The FBI will continue efforts to aggressively pursue charges against anyone, such as Mr. Bristow, who chooses to make reckless and malicious bomb threats.”
Emergency Film Group offers Bomb Threat, a DVD-based training package which teaches the management of bomb threat reports in order to minimize the disruption of activities, the elements of a bomb incident plan, carrying out searches and evacuations, and working with responding law enforcement. To learn more, read here.