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Press Release

Maine Man Pleads Guilty to Making Telephonic Bomb Threats to Somersworth City Hall

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire

           CONCORD - John Leon Rupert, 29, of Scarborough, Maine pleaded guilty in federal court to making interstate threats, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.

           According to court documents and statements made in court, on February 3, 2021, two calls were received by employees at Somersworth City Hall in which a computer-generated voice stated there was a bomb inside the building.  The building was evacuated and it was determined there were no explosive devices.   The calls were tracked to an IP address at Rupert’s residence in Scarborough, Maine.

           On February 15, 2021 agents executed a federal search warrant at the residence.  Rupert admitted he was the person who made the calls because he was angry about an injury received at a massage parlor in Somersworth. 

           Rupert is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14, 2021.

           “Bomb threat hoaxes are serious crimes that can disrupt communities and divert law enforcement resources from other priorities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley.  “As a result of this defendant’s conduct, Somersworth City Hall was evacuated and many innocent people were inconvenienced.  I am grateful to the FBI and the Somersworth Police Department for their rapid efforts to identify the individual responsible for making these threats.  As this case demonstrates, we will work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those responsible for making bomb threats.”

           “Upset over an injury he blamed on a local massage parlor, John Rupert misplaced his anger and used poor judgment in making two hoax calls to Somersworth City Hall stating that there was a bomb inside the building. With today’s guilty plea, he has finally realized the error of his ways,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Hoax threats instill fear, waste limited law enforcement resources, and put first responders in unnecessary danger. They are also federal crimes with serious consequences as demonstrated by this case.”

           This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Somersworth Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgiana MacDonald.



Updated April 18, 2023

Press Release Number: 21-071