Mansfield Man Charged Wtih Making Bomb Threats
A criminal information was filed charging a Mansfield man with six counts of willfully making threats, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the Northern District of Ohio.
Lonny L. Bristow, 39, is accused of calling in bomb threats to courthouses in Nebraska, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee and Mississippi beginning in November throughout the month of December 2012.
Bristow made the threats using prepaid calling cards that purchased at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, according to the information. 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, according to the information.
"These threats caused fear and panic throughout courthouses around the country," Dettelbach said. "The FBI did a tremendous job in piecing this case together."
"Lonny Bristow induced panic in hundreds of people across several states who were simply trying to do their work," Anthony said. "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 case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Getz after an investigation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by thecCourt after a review of factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offenses, and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.