News and Press Releases

NEW PORT RICHEY WOMAN CHARGED AND ARRESTED FOR MAKING THREATS TO BROWARD SCHOOLS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gilles, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, Dan Giustino, Chief, Pembroke Pines Police Department, and Al Lamberti, Broward County Sheriff, announced that defendant Ellisa Martinez, 48, of New Port Richey, Florida, was charged in a criminal complaint with interstate communication of a threat to injure another, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(c), in connection with a telephonic threat against Broward County schools and government buildings on November 10, 2010.

The criminal complaint, which was filed on November 12, 2010, alleges that on November 10, 2010, an email was sent to radio station WFTL in Pompano, Florida, which stated, among other things, “ i’m [sic] planning something big around a government building here in Broward County, maybe a post office, maybe even a school, I’m going to walk in and teach all the government hacks working there what the 2nd amendment is all about . . . we’ll end this year of 2010 in a blaze of glory for sure.”

According to the complaint, the email communication was followed by a telephone call to the radio station from a woman, who stated that her husband was going to go to a school in Pembroke Pines and carry out a shooting. The caller requested that the radio station broadcast a plea to her husband not to carry out the shooting. As a result of these threats, all Broward County schools were placed in lockdown for several hours.

Further investigation traced the email and telephone call to defendant Martinez in New Port Richey, Florida. A search warrant was executed at the defendant’s home, resulting in the seizure of a computer. A subsequent examination of the computer confirmed that the email to the radio station had been sent from defendant Martinez’s computer.

On November 10, 2010, upon being interviewed by federal agents, defendant Martinez fled her residence. She was found and arrested by FBI agents from the Los Angeles Division in California yesterday.

If convicted, the defendant faces a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of up to 5 years, followed by a term of three years of supervised release.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pembroke Pines Police Department, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office. He also thanked ATF, U.S. Secret Service, and ICE Homeland Security Investigations for their assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Walleisa.

A complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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