New Mexico woman admits phoning threat to Montana Trappers Association banquet in Dillon
MISSOULA – A New Mexico woman accused of calling the Montana Trappers Association during a fundraising banquet in Dillon to say she and her boyfriend had placed a bomb at the event admitted to charges on Dec. 15, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said today.
Dora Sandra Gomez, also known as Bella Gomez, 64, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to interstate communication of a threat as charged in a superseding information. Gomez faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided.
In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that on May 8, the Montana Trappers Association (MTA) hosted a fundraising banquet, attended by about 130 people, at the events hall in Dillon. At about 7:35 p.m., a secretary at the events hall received a phone call from a masked phone number. The caller said that she and her boyfriend were aware of the MTA banquet and that they didn’t like the organization. According to the secretary, the caller said a bomb was placed inside the banquet hall and that it could be triggered by a cell phone. The secretary immediately notified the Dillon Police Department. Officers evacuated the building and notified the FBI, which sent a team from Helena to search the building with a bomb-sniffing dog. No explosives were found.
The FBI determined that the call was made from a cellular phone belonging to Gomez and that the caller had dialed *67 prior to calling the facility in Dillon in order to mask the number from appearing on caller ID. Gomez admitted to the FBI to making the call to disrupt the MTA event because her ex-boyfriend was in attendance and she wanted to ruin his evening. Although Gomez admitted to saying words to the effect of “people who hate trappers are coming and someone will get hurt,” she denied ever using the word “bomb” or “explosive device.” The parties agreed that Gomez intended to communicate a threat with her statement, “people who hate trappers are coming and someone will get hurt.”
The Court set sentencing for March 30, 2022 and continued Gomez’s release pending further proceedings. The Court will determine Gomez’s sentence based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey K. Starnes is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Dillon Police Department.