News and Press Releases


September 12, 2011

A Chicago resident is charged with willfully making a bomb threat to the Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton announced today. Maurice Leon Wiggins, 23, was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 8, 2011. The Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Wiggins with willfully making a bomb threat. The indictment alleged that on August 29, 2011, Wiggins accessed the Internet from his cellular phone and submitted a message to the Southern Illinois University campus crime watch webpage for the Carbondale campus. His message stated that he planned to kill 4,000 students and staff by bombing three dormitories and a student center between September and November 2011.

Note: An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

“With the somber remembrance of 9.11 in our hearts, and the school tragedy at Northern Illinois University always on our minds, my office does not take terroristic threats against our citizens, our schools, or our children lightly.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.

The indictment charges the offense of willfully making a threat, which carries a maximum sentence of ten (10) years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, or both, and three (3) years’ supervised release. Today, Wiggins was arrested and had his initial appearance before the federal district court in Chicago.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Southern Illinois University Police Department. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Liam Coonan.



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