Ohio Man Charged In Multi-State Courthouse Bomb Threat Probe
CLEVELAND, Ohio - An Ohio man has been charged in the investigation into dozens of bomb threats made to courthouses and other public buildings in five states, including Tennessee, late last year.
The FBI arrested 39-year-old Lonny Bristow of Mansfield on Wednesday in the Mansfield area. He had an initial court appearance Thursday in Cleveland federal court and waived a bond hearing.
Bristow agreed to be held without bond while his case is pending, his public defender, Carolyn Kucharski, said in an email.
He was initially charged with a single count of making a bomb threat by phone.
The FBI said Bristow was arrested in the investigation of bomb threats made in November and December to courthouses and public buildings in Nebraska, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee and Mississippi.
The FBI Knoxville office learned through their investigation that prepaid calling cards that were used to make the bomb threat calls in Tennessee were purchased at a Walmart Supercenter in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. They later determined Bristow bought several of the prepaid calling cards linked to the calls.
"Lonny Bristow induced panic in hundreds of people across several states who were simply trying to do their work," said Stephen D. Anthony, special agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland office. "The FBI will continue efforts to aggressively pursue charges against anyone, such as Mr. Bristow, who chooses to make reckless and malicious bomb threats."
Computers, digital storage devices, other electronic equipment, documents, bank cards, weapons and ammunition were seized from Bristow's home Tuesday, the FBI said.
There was no immediate indication of a possible motive.
The public defender appointed to represent him limited her comments to detailing the initial court proceeding and wouldn't comment further.
Bristow had nothing to do with a bomb threat at the Bedford County Courthouse on Wednesday. Shawn Haven Tipton, of Shelbyville, was charged Thursday with filing a false report in connection with Wednesday's threat.