Home Cleveland Press Releases 2013 Man Arrested for Making Bomb Threats Against Courthouses in Five States
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Man Arrested for Making Bomb Threats Against Courthouses in Five States

FBI Cleveland March 21, 2013
  • Special Agent Vicki D. Anderson (216) 522-1400

Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), for the Northern District of Ohio, and Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announce the arrest of Lonny L. Bristow.

A series of bomb threats were telephonically received at courthouses in the states of Nebraska, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, and Mississippi beginning in November throughout the month of December 2012.

The initial investigation carried out by the FBI Knoxville Division revealed prepaid calling cards used to make bomb threat calls in Tennessee on November 27, 2012, were purchased at the Walmart Supercenter in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. The Cleveland FBI continued the investigation and discovered that a Lonny Lee Bristow had purchased a pre-paid calling card on November 27, 2012 at the Walmart Supercenter in Upper Sandusky. Through additional investigative methods, it was determined that Lonny Lee Bristow had purchased several pre-paid calling cards and those pre-paid calling cards were linked to the false bomb threats placed to various courthouses spanning five states.

“Lonny Bristow induced panic in hundreds of people across several states who were simply trying to do their work,” said Stephen D. Anthony. “The FBI will continue efforts to aggressively pursue charges against anyone, such as Mr. Bristow, who chooses to make reckless and malicious bomb threats.”

“The FBI did a tremendous job in piecing this case together,” said Steven M. Dettelbach.

A search warrant was executed at the residence of Lonny Lee Bristow on March 19, 2013. Pursuant to the affidavit and signed search and seizure warrant, agents seized computers, digital storage devices, other electronic equipment, documents, bank cards, weapons, and ammunition.

Lonny Lee Bristow was taken into custody on March 20, 2013, in the Mansfield, Ohio area without incident. His initial appearance is scheduled for March 21, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. at the Cleveland Federal Courthouse.

Lonny Lee Bristow 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.

A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Any questions regarding this news release can be directed to SA Vicki D. Anderson at the Cleveland Office of the FBI at 216-522-1400 or Vicki.anderson@ic.fbi.gov.