United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2007 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe PHONE: (409) 839-2538
CELL: (409) 553-9881
OKLAHOMA MAN CONVICTED FOR BOMB & DEATH THREATS
BEAUMONT, TX - United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a 44-year-old Tahlequah, Oklahoma, man has been convicted for threatening to bomb a federal facility and kill a federal agent in the Eastern District of Texas.
JAMES WILEY STINNETT, JR. was found guilty by a jury late yesterday afternoon of maliciously sending a bomb threat, threatening to kill a federal agent, sending a threatening communication, and covering up a material fact. Stinnett was convicted by a jury after a three-day trial before United States District Judge Ron Clark.
According to information presented in court, Stinnett first came to the attention of authorities when he reported to the Beaumont Police Department that his wife, a Russian national whom he had met over the internet, was a missing person. It later appeared that she had merely voluntarily left him. Later, an anonymous tip was received by the Department of Homeland Security TIP Line, alleging, among other things, that she was a terrorist. This was investigated by Agents of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE agents determined that there was no basis for the terrorist allegation, and came to suspect that Stinnett had called in the tip in order to have federal authorities search for the wife. Frustrated with the ICE agents' hesitance to provide him with her exact location, Stinnett had an innocent third-party fax a bomb and death threat to the ICE office in Beaumont, Texas. The threat purported to have been pinned by his wife. The fax was sent from a location in Tulsa, Oklahoma, then forwarded to Beaumont from a location in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The threat included not only a bomb threat against the ICE office, but also a threat to kill the ICE Special Agent with whom Stinnett had dealt. The jury determined that Stinnett was the individual responsible for sending the threats.
Stinnett faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Beaumont Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall L. Fluke and Assistant United States Attorney John Ross.
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