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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Making Threats Against the National Security Agency and Its Employees

Baltimore, Maryland – Ryan Matthew Conlon, age 38, of Halethorpe, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to making interstate threatening communications concerning the National Security Agency (NSA) and its employees.  After accepting his guilty plea, U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher sentenced Conlon to six months of home detention as part of three years’ probation, which is the sentence recommended by Conlon and the government.     

The guilty plea and sentence were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

According to his guilty plea, Conlon has a history of making threatening communications to government agencies, sometimes implicating other individuals as the party making the threat.  In early 2021, he was behind several communications threatening to blow up the NSA and shoot government employees.  FBI agents investigated and identified Conlon as the person behind the threats.  Agents confronted Conlon, who admitted to his conduct, acknowledged that it was criminal, and agreed that he would stop making such calls. 

However, on December 29, 2021, the FBI received a submission on the FBI Tipline in Washington, D.C. stating that a specific person will blow up NSA Headquarters; had built a bomb in his basement; and will murder the NSA Director.  The caller continued that the person would shoot up all federal NSA employees and was a danger to NSA and a national security threat.  The caller stated that the individual and his accomplice had been plotting to blow up NSA Headquarters for a month and planned to attack on New Years Day.

The FBI was able to identify the telephone number from which the call was made.  The number was traced to Conlon.

On December 31, 2021, the FBI received another submission on the FBI Tipline in Washington, D.C. warning that a truck with bombs inside was ready to go to the White House and that there was child pornography in the truck, as well.  The caller provided the Maryland license number of the truck.

Again, the FBI traced the origin of this communication to Conlon.  When Conlon was later confronted and arrested, he acknowledged that he might have made the threatening communications which, in fact, he had.  Conlon sent the communications with the intent to threaten the NSA Director and NSA employees, or with the knowledge that the communications would be viewed as a threat.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI for its work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham, who is prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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Topic(s): 
National Security
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated May 24, 2022