Chicago Man Sentenced for Making Bomb Threat Targeting Southern Illinois University in Carbondale
The U.S. District Court in East St. Louis sentenced a Chicago resident to 16 months in prison for willfully making a bomb threat to 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 also ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon his release from prison, pay a $100 fine, and pay a $100 special assessment to the court.
“My office will not sit idly as people make illegal threats in our community. My office has successfully prosecuted people who have mailed anthrax-simulating powder and who have mailed threats to burn apartment complexes. Threats of this nature, however bizarre, are a danger to all of us and must be dealt with. I credit the SIU PD and the FBI for its quick response. This prosecution should serve as a warning that offenders cannot hide anonymously behind their cell phones and computers when they break the law, that we will catch them, and that we will seek appropriate punishment,” stated United States Attorney Wigginton.
Prior to and at sentencing, Wiggins admitted that, in the summer of 2011, his girlfriend, who was attending SIU Carbondale, broke up the relationship with Wiggins. Wiggins traveled from Chicago to Carbondale in an effort to reestablish the relationship. His efforts failed.
On August 29, 2011, in response to the break-up and while he was in Chicago, Wiggins accessed the Internet from his cellular phone and submitted an anonymous 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. That same day Wiggins also called the Southern Illinois University Police Department five times and left a message on the last call indicating that he was going to rape and kill 30 female students. Finally, Wiggins threatened the life of the ex-girlfriend.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Southern Illinois University Police Department. The case was being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Liam Coonan.