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Press Release

Arizona Resident Charged with Bomb Hoax Against Sacramento Area Church

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment Thursday against Zimnako Salah, 44, of Phoenix, Arizona, charging him with false information and hoaxes, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on Nov. 12, 2023, Salah entered a church in Roseville and left a backpack affixed to a toilet in the church restroom. Evidence indicates that Salah intended to convey that the backpack contained a bomb. According to court documents, Salah also left a backpack in the sanctuary of an Arizona church in September 2023, and attempted to do the same at a La Mesa, California, church in October 2023 and a Colorado church in November 2023.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from state and local partners. Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Scott is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Salah faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charge is only an allegation; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 1, 2024