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FBI Helped Crack Dublin Teen's Alleged Bomb Threats to 'Heleena'

Three days of anonymous phone calls rattled police, administrators, parents and students, and prompted evacuations and school closures last week in Helena, MT.

Court Docs

HELENA, MT: Capital High School mascot logo.
HELENA, MT: Capital High School mascot logo.
By AUTUMN JOHNSON and SUSAN C. SCHENA

Montana officials are taking a hard line against a Dublin teenager -- who they blame for three days of school bomb threats that caused panicked administrators and police to call in the FBI and cancel classes for 9,000 students -- as the alleged anonymous caller who mispronounced his target town of Helena.

[Related article: Police Arrest Dublin Teen for Allegedly Making Bomb Threats to Schools in Montana]

The FBI was called in and helped identify the source of the phone calls -- allegedly a 14-year-old male from Dublin -- tracked through a "Magic Jack" phone number he reportedly used to place the anonymous calls, according to court documents.
 
The teen was arrested Friday at Dublin High School and is facing three counts of felony intimidation, said the court records filed March 21 in Montana First Judicial District Youth Court in Lewis and Clark County.  

Records state that on March 17, an anonymous male called dispatchers at the Helena Interagency Dispatch Center claiming there was a bomb in the town's Capital High School gymnasium.

"Bomb in gym. Capital High. 100 Valley Drive. Please come quick," was the message, court records state.

Police officials searched the gym, but found no explosives, files state.

Two days later -- on March 19 -- another call came in to the Helena dispatchers -- this time threatening a Helena public elementary school, records said.

During this second threat, records state, the male caller -- whom officials suspected of being a teenager from his voice -- allegedly mispronounced Helena, calling it "Heleena" and told the dispatcher, "Hi. I just left two backpacks with C-4 at the elementary school, and I am about to blow them up."
 
"Who's laughing now?" the caller reportedly added, files said.

As the Helena dispatcher attempted to determine which elementary school was targeted, court papers said the caller answered with: "It's going to blow."

That threat prompted evacuations at all area elementary schools, which Helena news stations said resulted in massive traffic problems throughout Lewis & Clark County.

Investigators were able to capture an internet phone number from that second call and matched it to the first phone call, documents stated.

The court filings said yet a third call to the dispatch center on March 21 was logged that warned bombs were in place in all Helena elementary schools and set to detonate at noon.

This prompted a second mass evacuation of the schools and cancellation of classes for 9,000 students and staff, records state.

Meanwhile, the FBI tracked the phone number to the Dublin teen, records said. 

After his Friday arrest at Dublin High, court documents state he confessed to the calls claiming he was acquainted with a 16-year-old Helena high schooler he met through online Xbox gaming. No motivation for the bomb threats were released in the court papers.

The teen's name has not been released due to his minor status, and the investigation is ongoing.
Ravatel Patel March 24, 2014 at 04:01 PM
Tragically, this same boy who worked with the boy in Dublin to trade bomb threats made a suicide attempt and thankfully survived. His father found him hanging in the garage and cut him down in time. Kids make mistakes and learn the hard way. It is truly tragic that more cannot be done to protect and educate these kids so they have the tools to avoid foolhardy and impulsive behaviors with long ranging negative effects. It starts at home, but it really does take a village.
Becky March 24, 2014 at 04:07 PM
timothy, You're right about the political junk being crammed down kids throats now. Just the fact that we're all discussing what schools, the government, etc. can do differently to raise kids well proves that we've all been brainwashed to think that the government has the right to raise our kids. The truth is parents have to spend time trying to shovel their kids out from under all the crap they are exposed to nowadays.
timothy March 24, 2014 at 04:15 PM
OMG Ravatel that is terrible news. I hope this kid gets all the help necessary to survive this situation.
Montanan Born and Raised March 24, 2014 at 07:33 PM
Ravatel - I'm trying to confirm your comment about the Montana boy attempting suicide. As of 5:30 MST there is NOTHING about this happening here...so where did you get your news from?
Autumn Johnson March 27, 2014 at 04:02 PM
Superintendent Apologizes to Helena, MT Community in Wake of Bomb Threats Allegedly Made by Dublin Teen http://dublin.patch.com/groups/schools/p/superintendent-apologizes-to-helena-mt-community-in-wake-of-bomb-threats-allegedly-made-by-dublin-teen

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