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Press Release

Michigan Man Sentenced To 14 Months Prison For Making Telephone Bomb Threats To San Benito High School

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

SAN JOSE—Jason Keith Smith was sentenced to 14 months in prison for making multiple telephone bomb threats to San Benito High School, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.

Smith, 30, of Lincoln Park, Michigan, pleaded guilty on March 3, 2015, to an indictment charging him with communicating threats, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c). Smith admitted in his plea agreement that in November 2012, he began sending threatening Internet messages to a student at San Benito High School in Hollister, Calif. (the Student). In one instance, the defendant sent the Student a text message indicating that someone would be hurt unless she contacted him. The defendant admitted in his plea agreement that, in early December 2012, he knowingly placed a number of telephone bomb threats from his home in Michigan to San Benito High School. Specifically, on December 2 and 3, 2012, the defendant placed a call to San Benito High School claiming to be a police detective, stating that the Student was in trouble with the law and requesting that she contact him. The defendant also admitted in his plea agreement that on December 3, 2012, he called San Benito High School and left a series of telephone bomb threats on the school attendance message. In one of these messages, the defendant said that there was a bomb in the high school and that people should run and hide. The defendant further admitted that he left another telephone message indicating no one knew where he had placed the bomb, but he would blow the school to pieces. The defendant also admitted that he stated during one of these calls, “And by the way, I want you to look up this one chick named [the Student]. If she goes to school there, please let her know that I am watching her.” The defendant also admitted to making additional telephone bomb threats on December 4 and 7, 2014. As a result of defendant’s telephone bomb threats, San Benito High School had to be evacuated on several occasions and significant law enforcement resources were dedicated to investigate the threats.

Smith was charged in an indictment filed on February 19, 2014. Smith has been in federal custody since October 6, 2014.  The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh.  Judge Koh also sentenced Smith to serve a three-year period of supervised release with special conditions.  Among the special conditions of his supervised release are that he not telephone San Benito High School or possess any computer without permission from his probation officer.

The case was prosecuted by Northern District of California Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Fazioli and Eastern District of Michigan Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Mulcahy, with the assistance of Laurie Worthen. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Northern California and Detroit, the Hollister Police Department, and the Lincoln Park Police Department.

Updated May 27, 2015