Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Security: Man indicted for making bomb threats against airport, Mall of America

U.S. Attorney’s Office 
District of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 22-year-old man, formerly of Maine, was indicted for making bomb threats at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America (MOA). Dana William Ashey was specifically charged with two counts of false information and hoaxes.

The indictment alleges that on April 12, 2013, Ashey threatened that bombs had been planted at both the airport and the MOA. According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, the airport’s police dispatch received a bomb threat at 2:37 a.m. on April 12, 2013, with a warning that a bomb could go off by 3:00 a.m. At 2:42 a.m. that same day, another bomb threat was allegedly phoned in to security dispatch for the MOA. The caller in that instance purportedly stated that the bomb had been placed in a restroom. A search of the mall yielded no bomb. At 2:17 p.m., the mall’s switchboard operator allegedly received yet another bomb threat. Authorities traced the call and found the man still inside the MOA. The man, later identified as Ashey, reportedly possessed the cell phone that was used to deliver the bomb threats.

If convicted, Ashey faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on each count. Any sentence would be determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Police Department, the Bloomington Police Department, and the MOA Security. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew R. Winter.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.