• Sheriff’s Office Reports Arrest in February Bomb Threat Made Online

    After an ongoing investigation involving Law Enforcement from Arizona as well as the Secret Service and FBI, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce an arrest in the case of the North County High School False Bomb report from earlier this year.

    On 02-04-15, at approximately 2342 hrs the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department experienced the first “Swatting” call by the 17 year old suspect.  He reported a home invasion with a victim shot.  Monterey County Sheriff Department responded with an emergency response; approximately 10 units responded along with fire and medical personnel staging. The 17 year old female victim identified the reporting party to another Juvenile she had made contact with over the computer.  She was able to identify him by his voice which was recorded when he called into the dispatch center. She advised that she had met this subject on line and had developed a “friendship” with him.

    On 02-05-15, at approximately 1138 hrs and on 02-06-15, at approximately 1151 hrs, an emailed bomb threat was sent to North Monterey County High School.  The email claimed to be coming from the female victim who was reported to be a member of ISIS. A threat was made that they were going to kill the kids at the school if $15,000.00 was not left at the school’s front gate.  The school responded by having approximately 1100 students and all the faculty members evacuated from the school.  Every available patrol deputy from all of our stations responded to assist in the evacuation of the school. Several units searched the school as it was reported that there was subject on the school grounds with assault weapons and bombs.  Several other agencies in the area also responded to assist the Sheriff’s Department to include the North Monterey County Fire Department and ambulance crews, which staged for emergency medical response.

    These calls created fear in the community and several students did not return to school for several weeks.   North Monterey County High School and the Sheriff’s Department had several meetings with the school staff, the media, and parents trying to ensure the safety of the children at the school.

    On 02-09-15 the North Monterey County High School made the decision to close the school for the day to have training and to prepare for further threats to the school and the students.  On 02-10-15 the school was back in session with a minimal amount of students present and yet another threat was received through the Monterey County Dispatch Center. The school responded by carrying on the day in a normal fashion.  They did have extra security at the school and our patrol conducted extra patrol around the school to ensure the safety of the students and faculty members.  The call was analyzed and again it was determined to be the same male juvenile suspect.

    The female victim in this case as well as her family and other friends received a number of suspicious calls and “swatting” type incidents over the next few weeks.

    Forensic examinations of the victim’s computer and cellular devices helped investigators track the suspect to a residence in Arizona. With the assistance of the Surprise, AZ, police department and the Secret Service, a search warrant was served at that residence on 5/14/2015. As a result of the search warrant numerous items of evidence were seized and the suspect was interviewed. During the interview the suspect admitted to his actions. It was also discovered that this was not the first time he had committed these types of crimes. The juvenile suspect was subsequently arrested and will be prosecuted.

    The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the community of the dangers of meeting people on line. Parents should be aware of predators who are constantly “trolling” the internet in various chat rooms as well as in a number of social media applications in an effort to lure your children into compromising situations. The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office suggests that parents frequently check their children’s computers and cellular devices and discuss with them the dangers of giving out personal information or sending pictures of themselves to anyone over any device.

    Parents should also be aware of their children using their computers and cellular devices to bully and/or prank people, which could result in injuries to include loss of life as seen in some cases. Serious repercussions could result from this type of abuse.

    Visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Website for information on a wide variety of internet, social media and cellular phone security issues.


    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 15, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News, Police Log


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