Man Who Threatened Courthouses Caught

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(Hernando, MS) Carmen Bechel remembers the mid-December day when she had to leave her office after someone threatened to blow the place up, ”We got a phone call from the lady downstairs, there’s a bomb threat and we just immediately headed downstairs.”

The threat came to DeSoto County government buildings, where most, including Bechel had never experienced any kind of threat.

The DeSoto County threats included not only the courthouse but the County administration building nearby.

District Attorney John Champion says the investigation into the threats, which occurred around the country, moved quickly, ”I knew early-on that they were tracking some pre-paid phone cards that were purchased and it was seen as a common denominator between the purchase of the cards and where they were used. That’s when they began to start zeroing in."

They zeroed in on Lonnie Lee Bristow of Cleveland, Ohio.

The FBI there announced his arrest on Monday for threats in Tennessee, Mississippi, Oregon, Washington and Nebraska.

Champion says there’s an indication Bristow has connections to a white supremacist group.

He’ll stand trial for all the threats, and that makes those who had to go through it feel a little safer.