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Press Release

Chicago Man Charged And Arrested For Making Bomb And Violence Threats Against Southern Illinois University

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today that Derrick Dawon Burns, 21, of Chicago, Illinois, was charged in a previously-sealed criminal complaint on September 25, 2014, with eight federal charges stemming from a series of bomb and violence threats directed toward Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (SIUC), students, faculty and staff on October 10, 2012, October 15, 2012, December 6, 2012, and October 1, 2013.

“I am proud of the unflagging investigative efforts performed by the federal and state law enforcement agencies working jointly on this case. These types of threats carry immensely dangerous consequences for all involved. You can be certain that my office and law enforcement never once failed to take these threats seriously or to give up the fight to apprehend the person we believe is responsible. Instilling anger, fear and disruption at a major university is something the people of Southern Illinois should not have to condone.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.

After authorities arrested Burns in Chicago today, he had his initial appearance in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, where the criminal complaint was unsealed. Burns is being held without bond pending a detention hearing set for Wednesday, October 1, 2014, in Chicago.

Each of the eight federal charges carry maximum penalties of ten years imprisonment, three years supervised release, a $250,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.

The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the SIUC Department of Public Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistance was provided by the Carbondale Police Department, the Illinois Secretary of State Bomb Squad, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, and the Illinois State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Coonan and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Constance.

Updated February 19, 2015