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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday - December 4, 2003

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that CHARLTON L. HARRIS was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh on Tuesday, December 2, 2003, for communicating threats by email. Senior U. S. District Judge W. Earl Britt imposed a sentence of 18 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release.

HARRIS, 25, of Montezuma, Georgia, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Raleigh on May 22, 2003. A two-count indictment charged him with emailing threats to injure others on April 2, 2002 and on April 5, 2002. HARRIS pled guilty to both counts on September 2, 2003.

According to evidence and testimony presented in court, HARRIS sent an email to the Cumberland County Clerk of Court on April 2, 2002, informing her that there was a bomb in the courthouse. On April 5, 2002, he sent another email threatening to kill the Clerk of Court. Through computer investigative techniques, it was determined that the source computer was located in the Montezuma Public Library, Montezuma, Georgia, and that HARRIS had been at the computer at the time that the two threats were sent. He admitted that he sent the threatening communications and that he attempted to make it appear that someone else was the source of the threats, in an effort to reconcile with his estranged wife.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U. S. Attorney James A. Candelmo handled the case for the government.

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