Ohio man admits making bomb threats

He pleads guilty to making calls to courthouses in Washington, other states



Clark County Courthouse among threatened sites

The Clark County Courthouse was evacuated following a bomb threat 0n the afternoon of Nov. 15 as other news outlets reported threats at county courthouses around the state.

A call came into the Superior Court Clerk’s office around 3:20 p.m., stating that there were explosive devices in the courthouse, set to go off in 20 minutes.

“The guy said, ‘This is not a bomb threat; this is a bomb promise,’ ” said Sgt. Shane Gardner with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

A short while later, deputies stationed at the courthouse at 1200 Franklin St. pulled the fire alarm to quickly evacuate the building. They did not locate any explosive device.

—Patty Hastings

CLEVELAND — An ex-convict pleaded guilty Thursday to making more than 100 telephone bomb threats to courthouses and other public buildings in five states, and a judge promptly sentenced him to 51 months in prison.

Lonny Bristow, 39, of Mansfield, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, waived a standard pre-sentence report and was sentenced by Judge Dan Aaron Polster.

Bristow was arrested in connection to bomb threats made in November and December to courthouses and public buildings in Nebraska, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The FBI said it traced numerous bomb threats to prepaid phone cards purchased at a Wal-Mart store in Upper Sandusky, about 40 miles west of Mansfield.

Bristow made at least 10 threatening calls Nov. 2 to Nebraska, at least nine on Nov. 15 to Washington, at least 30 on Nov. 19 to Oregon, at least 32 on Nov. 27 to Tennessee, at least 30 on Dec. 12 to Mississippi and at least 17 on Dec. 17 to Mississippi, according to a court filing.

No explosives were found.

The Mansfield News Journal reported last month that since 1993, Bristow filed at least 137 lawsuits, targeting law enforcement personnel, judges, media outlets and others. In 1997, he was labeled a "vexatious litigator," someone who files annoying lawsuits.

Bristow also was the first inmate in Ohio to have his mail privileges revoked, the newspaper reported. He received a 13-year prison sentence for theft, retaliation, aiding an escape, harassment by an inmate and telephone harassment.