News and Press Releases


April 28, 2011

A Fairview Heights man was convicted in US District Court on April 27, 2011, for Making a False Threat to Detonate an Explosive Device, and Influencing a Federal Officer by Threat, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Roman O. Conaway, 51, was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on October 5, 2010, in a two-count indictment following a sevenhour standoff with federal authorities.

The indictment alleged that on September 21, 2010, agents of the FBI and United States Secret Service went to Conaway’s home to investigate allegations that he had threatened to kill the president and threatened to burn a Quran. These threats were made to an individual associated with a St. Louis area mosque. Conaway walked out of his home to confront the agents wearing what appeared to be an explosive device affixed to his torso. Count 1 of the indictment charged that, Conaway attached two bricks of an inert putty-like material designed and formed to replicate blocks of C-4 explosive to a belt that was wired to a homemade detonation device and that he falsely threatened to detonate that explosive device and kill an FBI Special Agent during the performance of his official duties. Count 2 of the indictment charged that Conaway also threatened to detonate the purported explosive device and kill a United States Secret Service Special Agent with intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with the agent while he was engaged in the performance of his official duties.

The crime of Making a False Threat to Detonate an Explosive Device is punishable by not more than 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and 3 years’ Supervised Release. The crime of Influencing a Federal Officer by Threat is punishable by not more than 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and 3 year’s Supervised Release.

Agents from eleven law enforcement agencies participated in ending the seven-hour standoff. The investigation is being conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft.



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