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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

District Man Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison For Series of Threats Against Metro Transit System

Defendant Placed Over 300 Calls to 911 Over a Six-Month Period

            WASHINGTON – Jerez Nehemiah Coleman, 21, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 21 months in prison on a federal charge stemming from an investigation into a series of calls he made falsely warning of various threats to the Metro transit system, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Ron Pavlik, Chief of the Metro Transit Police.

            Coleman, also known as Kidd Cole and Jerez Nehemiah Stone-Coleman, was arrested on May 27, 2015 and has been in custody ever since. He pled guilty on Dec. 18, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to a charge of making threats involving explosive materials. He was sentenced by the Honorable Amit P. Mehta. The plea, which was subject to the Court’s approval, called for a sentence ranging from time served to up to 27 months in prison. Following his prison term, Coleman will be placed on three years of supervised release.

            In sentencing the defendant, Judge Mehta cited the severity of the conduct, noting that the 911 calls “involved threats to conduct innate acts of extraordinary violence, detonating bombs, snipers firing on Metro passengers, suicide bombers boarding buses, threats to kill the President of the United States … They most certainly were intended to cause bedlam and disruption.”

            According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, Coleman placed over 300 calls to 911 from December 2014 to May 2015. Multiple law enforcement agencies -- including the Metro Transit Police, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the U.S. Secret Service -- responded to these calls and provided security at the various scenes. These threat and/or hoax calls caused law enforcement to spend hundreds of hours ensuring the public was safe.

            In one such call, for example, made on Dec. 12, 2014, Coleman called 911 to report that he and his friends had bombs and were on a Metrobus at the Potomac Avenue Metro station in Southeast Washington. During the call, Coleman stated, “We are going to blow the entire whole bus…everybody is going to die in ten minutes…” This call prompted an immediate emergency response. MPD and Metro Transit Police were diverted from other duties and dispatched, emergency lights on and sirens blaring, to the scene. MPD arrived first and established a perimeter around the bus. There were about 20 passengers on board. When Metro Transit Police officers arrived, they evacuated the passengers. They searched each seat of the bus, the wheel wells, the undercarriage, and the exhaust pipes. Throughout this search, the bus was out of service. After the thorough investigation, police determined that the 911 call was a hoax.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Metro Transit Police Chief Pavlik commended the work of those who investigated the case for the Metro Transit Police. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Metropolitan Police Department, the 911 Office of Unified Communications, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and other law enforcement agencies. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Jorge Casillas, Jessica Moffatt, and Todd McClelland; Criminal Investigator John Marsh, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Morgan. Finally, they commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deborah A. Curtis, John L. Hill and John Marston, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

16-049
Updated March 23, 2016