WASHINGTON (WTAJ) — A man from Peru was charged days after numerous schools in Pennsylvania as well as synagogues, airports and hospitals across the country received bomb threats last week, the FBI reported.
According to a release from the FBI’s New York field office and US Attorney Damian Williams, Eddie Manuel Nunez Santos a.k.a. “Lucas,” 33, from Peru, is charged with making hoax threats to more than 150 school districts in Pennsylvania, including Blair County on Wednesday, Sept. 20, and other states across the U.S.
It’s alleged by the FBI that Ninez Santos made threats against a number of schools after a 15-year-old refused to send him nude photos.
According to the criminal complaint, Nunez Santos sent the following to 24 different school districts in Pennsylvania on Sept. 20:
“I placed multiple bombs in all of the schools from your School Districts. The bombs will blow up in a few hours. I’ll gladly smile when your families are crying because of your deaths.“
Nunez Santos allegedly caused massive disruptions across the country between Sept. 15 and Sept. 21 including in Pa., New York, Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska.
“Not only did Santos allegedly email hundreds of hoax bomb threats terrorizing schools, hospitals, and houses of worship, he also perversely tried to sextort innocent teenage girls,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said. “His actions wasted limited law enforcement resources, put first responders in unnecessary danger, and victimized children. The FBI will not tolerate anyone who seeks to induce fear in our communities, and we will do whatever it takes to put the perpetrators of such actions behind bars, regardless of their location.”
The complaint filed in Manhattan federal court went on to show that the FBI received reports of bomb threats sent through email and online contact forms beginning Sept. 15.
Through investigations and examinations of email, phone, and IP address data, the FBI was able to pinpoint Nunez Santos where he was living in Lima, Peru. The threats sent allegedly all contained similar content and targeted schools, synagogues, airports, hospitals, and a shopping mall.
More than 150 bomb threats were allegedly sent between Sept. 15 and Sept. 21, including one sent Sept. 19 that resulted in more than 1,100 school kids being evacuated from 20 different schools in Pennsylvania.
Multiple bomb threats also included references to particular phone numbers or a particular IP address and a directive for the targeted institutions receiving the threats to contact those numbers or IP addresses. The FBI determined that those phone numbers and IP addresses were used by certain young females, including a 17-year-old girl and 13-year-old girl residing in Pennsylvania, and a 15-year-old girl residing in New York. Each of those girls had engaged in online communications with Nunez Santos, who used the alias “Lucas” and represented himself to be 15 years old. “Lucas” repeatedly asked at least two of the girls to send him nude photographs of themselves.
When the girls refused his requests or cut off communications with him, Nunez Santos threatened to bomb their schools or kill them, and he sent the aforementioned bomb threats to schools in their areas with directives for the targeted institutions to contact the girls.
Nunez Santos is being charged with transmitting threatening interstate communications, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, conveying false information and hoaxes, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, attempting to sexually exploit a child, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, attempting to coerce and entice a minor, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, and attempting to receive child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.