Albany Woman Arrested on Charges She Called in Bomb Threats to Schools
EUGENE, Ore. – Today FBI Agents arrested Jenelle Pinkston, age 45, for allegedly calling in bomb threats to Albany, Oregon, elementary schools in April and May of this year. Pinkston faces one count of threatened use of a destructive device. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Pinkston made her initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Coffin on Wednesday, and he ordered Pinkston held pending further court proceedings.
According to the criminal complaint, investigators allege that Pinkston made one call on April 16, 2013, to Waverly Elementary School, threatening that a bomb would explode in 10 minutes. The complaint further alleges that Pinkston made two calls on May 23, 2013: another call to Waverly Elementary School and one to Periwinkle Elementary School. In all cases, administrators evacuated the schools, but no devices were ever found. Albany Police Department and Albany Fire Department responded to all incidents and expended significant resources in determining that the schools were safe for the students to return. Albany Police Department initially determined the phone that was used in the threats, traced that phone’s ownership and use, and arrested Pinkston on local charges of coercion, disorderly conduct, and tampering with evidence.
Assistant United States Attorney William Fitzgerald is the federal prosecutor overseeing this case.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and all defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.