LAWFUEL – Legal News, Legal Jobs Network – Three people have recently either pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty to making bogus threats concerning bombs on commercial airplanes and sending anthrax to a Texas police department.
In a plea agreement filed this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles, Jason Morris admitted calling both John Wayne Airport and Long Beach Airport with fake threats about bombs. During an October 25, 2005 call, Morris told personnel at John Wayne airport: “There’s a plane leaving tonight with two bombs on it, a lot of people will die and it’s all in your hands.” On that same date, he called Long Beach Airport, claiming that a bomb was at the facility and if the bomb was not found “a lot of people will die.” Investigators easily traced the threats to Morris because he used his cell phone to make the calls.
Morris, a 30-year-old Ontario resident, agreed to plead guilty to two counts of making false threats regarding bombs on airplanes and in airports. Each count carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in federal prison. Morris will be summoned to appear in United States District Court in the coming weeks to formally enter the guilty plea.
On October 23, Yechezkel Wells pleaded guilty to making a false threat that there was a bomb on a plane at Long Beach Airport. On August 26, Morris was hoping to board a plane to Florida, but he and his companions were denied a boarding pass because they arrived late at the airport. While the airplane was still on the ground, Wells, in an attempt to delay the flight from taking off, called 911 from a payphone inside the airport and said: “There is a bomb on a flight from Long Beach to Ft. Lauderdale leaving now.” The call was quickly traced to the payphone, and Wells admitted making the call after being contacted by investigators.
Wells, a 21-year-old resident of Miami Beach, Florida, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper, who is scheduled to sentence the defendant on January 29. At sentencing, Wells faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison.
On October 19, Erik William Andersson, pleaded guilty to making a threat to the Stephenville (Texas) Police Department. On March 1, Andersson was contacted by a Stephenville Police officer, who had received a complaint that Andersson was harassing his ex-girlfriend and her family. After Andersson became abusive, the officer ended the phone call. But, Andersson called back and spoke to a different officer, eventually threatening to send a letter containing anthrax to the police department.
Andersson, a 21-year-old Stevenson Ranch resident, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder, who is scheduled to sentence the defendant on January 29. At sentencing, Andersson faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
“These types of cases are serious because they consume a considerable amount of law enforcement time to investigate,” said United States Attorney Debra Wong Yang. “Hoax cases detract from law enforcement efforts to investigate other criminal activity.”
These cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Donald F. Gaffney
Release No. 06-151