Federal Charges Filed Against Two Suspects in Bomb Threat Hoax

U.S. Attorney Billy Williams has filed federal charges against two of the three men arrested for making a hoax bomb threat at the Deschutes County Courthouse late last month.

Deschutes County DA John Hummel dismissed state charges against 23-year-old Jonathan Allen and 31-year-old Kellie Cameron. The two are accused of federal conspiracy to make a threat regarding explosive materials, false information and hoaxes. They were arrested during a traffic stop on August 3rd.

A third suspect, 40-year-old William Swanson, was arrested Thursday afternoon and still faces state charges of possessing a hoax device, disorderly conduct and criminal conspiracy.

“I appreciate the strong working relationship local law enforcement has always had with the FBI and United States Attorney Williams,” Hummel said in a statement.  “We always work collaborative on cases with a Federal nexus and decide after a thorough investigation which jurisdiction should ultimately handle the matter. We all agreed that the alleged actions of these suspects warranted resolution in Federal court and this is why I dismissed the local charges.”

This case is being investigated by the FBI and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Nathan J. Lichvarcik, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

The hoax on July 29th caused a multi-agency response that closed several downtown Bend streets, forced the cancelation of all courthouse activities and prompted a call to the Oregon State Police Explosives Unit from Salem.

Someone called 9-1-1 around 7 a.m. to report two bombs – one at the courthouse steps and the other in a separate, undisclosed location nearby. The courthouse was evacuated and streets in the area blocked off shortly after that, according to Deschutes County Sheriff’s Sgt. William Bailey.

The Oregon State Police Explosives Unit arrived from Eugene at about 11 a.m. While the team assessed the device, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office tweeted out they were seeking a person of interest and released a short security video of what appears to be a man wearing a cowboy hat, grey hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses and jeans carrying a box under one arm.

Just after 1 p.m. the OSP Explosives Unit used a water cannon to neutralize the device. Further investigation revealed it did not contain any explosive materials.

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