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Press Release

Youngstown man indicted related to threats

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

A federal grand jury today returned an indictment in U.S. District Court charging Rakieda D. Cheatham, 27, of Youngstown, with threatening interstate communications and making threats/conveying false information regarding explosives, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The charges stem from a series of e-mails Cheatham is alleged to have sent in March, 2015, to management at Vallourec Star.  The e-mails warned that a bomb had been placed in the administration building, and threatened to slit the throats of one of the manager’s children.  The bomb threat caused the total shut down of operations at Vallourec Star and the evacuation of hundreds of Vallourec employees.  The Mahoning County Sheriff Bomb Squad responded, but no explosives were located.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin Seabury Gould.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines which depend upon a number of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial, in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Updated January 8, 2016