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Press Release

Iowa Man Sentenced to 53 Months in Federal Prison for Bomb Threat to Tipton County Jail

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – Jermaine Dickerson, 41 of Ankeny, Iowa (formerly of Brighton, TN) pled guilty to one count of use of a telephone to maliciously convey false information concerning an attempt to damage and destroy a building and other real and personal property by means of an explosive and for failure to appear for sentencing. D. Michael Dunavant, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee announced the sentence today.

According to the facts alleged in the indictment and revealed during the sentencing hearing, on March 6, 2016, Jermaine Dickerson called the Tipton County Jail at 1801 South College Street, Covington, Tennessee, threatened jail personnel and threatened to blow up the jail if the inmates were not released. Due to this call, the jail was put on lockdown and emergency response teams were deployed to search the area. No bomb was located.

In the subsequent investigation, officers developed information regarding the phone that was used to place the call. It was determined that Dickerson used the phone on March 6, 2016, to place the call from Iowa to the Tipton County Jail. In an interview with FBI agents, Dickerson admitted that he made the call, but stated he did not know why and that he meant no harm to anyone. Investigation also revealed Dickerson had been booked into the Tipton County jail on over 40 previous occasions.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "This office, along with our federal and local law enforcement partners, are vigilant to protect and prevent attacks on any critical infrastructure sites in West Tennessee, including correctional facilities. We take all threats seriously, and false reports of explosives cause law enforcement agencies to unnecessarily expend scarce and valuable government resources to respond, at the expense of taxpayers. We are pleased that the defendant has been held accountable for this disturbing crime of dishonesty, and we commend the quick and thorough response of FBI and the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office."

On July 24, 2017, Dickerson pled guilty to the bomb threat charge before U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman. Judge Lipman ordered Dickerson to appear for his sentencing hearing on October 19, 2017.

On October 19, 2017, Dickerson failed to appear for his sentencing. He was subsequently indicted for this new offense. On November 6, 2017, United States Marshals arrested Dickerson in Iowa.

On February 8, 2018, U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Dickerson to serve a total of 53 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and Tipton County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hall prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated February 9, 2018