East Bay Teen Suspected in Bomb Threats Against Montana Schools

14-year-old suspect "collaborated" with Helena teen via Xbox, according to court documents

By Geoffrey Eisler
|  Sunday, Mar 23, 2014  |  Updated 3:55 AM PDT
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A Dublin teenager is under arrest, accused of causing trouble more than 1,000 miles away. Cheryl Hurd reports.

A Dublin teenager is under arrest, accused of causing trouble more than 1,000 miles away. Cheryl Hurd reports.

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A Bay Area teenager is under arrest, accused of causing trouble more than 1,000 miles away.

Helena, Mont., Police Chief Troy McGee says a 14-year-old suspect from Dublin, Calif., has been arrested for calling in three bomb threats this week to Helena public schools.

McGee said Dublin police arrested the teen at Dublin High School shortly after a bomb threat was called in Friday morning. The teen eventually confessed to all three counts, according to court documents.

Dublin police said the boy would be interviewed at police headquarters before being released to the custody of his parents.

He could be charged with making terrorist threats.

McGee said the case is still under investigation.

“There may be some connections here in Helena that this 14-year-old juvenile in California had,” he said.

Court documents show the suspect "implicated a 16-year-old Helena high school student who he said he had met when they communicated over Xbox while gaming. The two eventually collaborated on the threats," according to the teen.

In one of the threats made earlier this week, the teen allegedly told a dispatcher he had “left two backpacks with C-4” at an unspecified elementary school and planned to blow them up, according to court documents. As a result, all of the Helena public school district’s elementary schools were evacuated.

Friday, a caller said “there were bombs in all Helena area schools,” court documents show, and class was canceled for all of the district’s 9,000 students and staff.

"Some may take this as a joke,” Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said. “We don’t.”

No explosives were ever found.

Court documents show the FBI assisted the Helena Police Department in tracking down the teen, who was allegedly using an app to make the anonymous phone threats.

The county attorney in Montana is working with prosecutors in California to decide which state the suspect will be tried in, McGee said.

Helena Public Schools Superintendent Kent Kultgen said schools will enhance security and work with police to increase their presence on campus.

 

NBC’s Helena affiliate, KTVH, contributed to this report.

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