Task force established to address rash of bomb threats
A caller dials 911 on their cell phone. (File/FOX Carolina)
WALHALLA, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Authorities in Oconee County have established a task force to address a rash of bomb threats that have aggravated residents and law enforcement alike.
Oconee County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Kevin Davis said authorities have investigated 10 bomb threats in the past two days. Eight of the threats were made Tuesday at as late as 11 p.m., Davis said. He said the calls have been made to banks, schools, a McDonald's restaurant and even the hospital.
"People are just wondering why, and maybe hoping that it's nothing more than it is," said Heath Goss, of the Oconee Medical Center.
Officials said they have been forced to evacuate some places while they searched the area for a possible bomb, but none have been found.
"They are conveying that there are bombs in the area, potentially a bomb in that business, and asking, making, telling threats that a bomb is going to go off - that's pretty much the same pattern in all the calls that have occurred," Davis said.
Davis said they have had bomb threats before, but never to this scale.
Oconee County deputies aren't the only ones dealing with the headache. Seneca police have been called to investigate five threats, while Clemson University police have investigated two.
Although some may think of it as a silly prank, authorities said it's actually a serious crime. If convicted, the caller could receive as much as 10 years in prison for the first offense and up to 15 years in prison without probation for the second offense.
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