Department of Justice Logo and United States Attorney's Office Header

Feb. 9, 2012

(713) 567-9388

Robstown Man Guilty of Valero Bomb Threat

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Jose Orlando Padilla, 19, of Robstown, Texas, has been convicted of using a telephone to communicate bomb threats to the Valero Refinery in Corpus Christi, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Stephen L. Morris, special agent in charge of the FBI. Padilla entered his guilty plea at a hearing just a short time ago before Senior United States District Judge Hayden Head. 

“Each and every hoax threat wastes precious law enforcement resources, time and money,” said Morris. “Those responsible will be identified and held accountable!”

At a hearing before Senior United States District Judge Hayden Head today, Padilla admitted that at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2011, he relayed to an individual at the Valero Refinery using a telephone that “there’s a bomb in complex six.” Padilla called the refinery a second time at 3:20 p.m., requested to be transferred to a different extension and then reported “there’s a bomb in complex six and seven.” Six minutes later, Padilla called the refinery a third time and repeated the threat. Three days later, at 6:08 a.m., Padilla again called the refinery and claimed “there’s a bomb in complex six. It’s going to blow up between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m.” When the Valero employee tried to ask him a question about the bomb he replied with profanity and added that the “bomb is going to go and you need to clear complex six.”

In response to the threats Valero security, law enforcement personnel and bomb detection dogs were dispatched and the FBI began an investigation. Padilla was arrested shortly thereafter by the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office before the end of the day on Oct. 28, 2011, at which time he admitted the cell phone used to communicate the bomb threats was in his possession at the time the threats were made.

Following his plea today, Padilla was returned to federal custody where he will remain pending his sentencing hearing, set for April 17, 2012. At that time, Padilla will faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Following any sentence of incarceration Padilla may additionally be assessed a period of up to three years of federal supervised release.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. Thorpe Jr.