Valley teen faces prosecution for sending a bomb threat by e-mail

March 23, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — An Imperial County teen could face federal and state prosecution after sending an e-mail bomb threat to the principal of Blanche Charles Elementary School on Wednesday.

Blanche Charles Principal Gina Sanchez received an e-mail about 2:50 p.m. Wednesday stating that the writer of the message had a friend claiming he or she was going to plant one or more bombs in Imperial Valley high schools set to go off today, said Bob Sellers, supervisory resident agent for the local office of the FBI.

The e-mail's author claimed he or she had seen this friend put small bombs together in the past and believed that friend would carry out his or her plan to plant bombs in local high schools, Sellers said.

FBI agents tracked down the residence from which the e-mail was sent, Sellers said. An interview with the suspected sender revealed the threat to be a hoax.


Sellers could not release the suspect's name or city of residence.

"A local high school student sent the e-mail as a hoax," Sellers said.

Sellers said the individual was just playing a game and that he or she randomly picked the Blanche Charles principal as a recipient.

Calexico police officers conducted a sweep of Blanche Charles on Wednesday in response to the e-mail and found nothing suspicious, Sellers said.

While the suspect is not in custody, he or she could still face federal or state charges, Sellers said.

Sellers did not know if charges would be filed.

"In light of the recent shootings (in Santee and El Cajon), we take these hoaxes very seriously," Sellers said.

Sanchez was not available for comment today.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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