A St. Louis man was arrested Friday morning for allegedly making multiple threats to Jewish Community Centers in the U.S.
Authorities identified the suspect as 31 year-old Juan Thompson. He is charged with one count of cyber-stalking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.
The FBI raided a north St. Louis home in connection to the allegations against Thompson this morning. News 4 was present during the raid, and officials said mostly electronic items were taken.
Thompson is currently in FBI custody, and made his first court appearance in front of a federal judge this afternoon in St. Louis.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said arrest comes during a months-long FBI investigation of a series of threats across the country. The threats were primarily aimed towards Jewish Community Centers, schools, and other services on or behalf of the Jewish community.
Thompson is accused of making at least eight bomb threats to different Jewish Community Centers through June 2016 to Feb. 2017.
According to the investigation, the alleged threats Thompson made were apart of a campaign aimed at someone he used to date. The U.S. Attorney's office said the threats were made after the relationship ended, and were part of Thompson's alleged harassment of the victim he saw romantically. The harassment included defamatory emails and faxes to the victim's employer and false criminal reports.
One of the false reports allegedly made by Thompson accused the victim of possessing child pornography.
New York Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill said Thompson's alleged actions caused havoc and spent a lot of time and resources for law enforcement to investigate the threats.
"We will continue to pursue those who peddle fear, making false claims about serious crimes. I'm grateful for the collaboration between the NYPD detectives, FBI agents, and prosecutors whose cross-country investigation led to this morning's arrest," Com. O'Neill said.
The investigation also states Thompson made some of the bomb threats using the victim's name to the Jewish Community Centers, as well as Anti-Defamation League office in Manhattan. Thompson send the Anti-Defamation office an email, saying the victim was behind the bomb threats, and "would make more bomb threats tomorrow."
However, the Attorney's Office said Thompson did make some bomb threats towards the Jewish Community Centers in his name. But the investigation claims Thompson did so in an effort to appear as though the victim was framing him.
"Juan Thompson (Thompson's birthday) put two bombs in the Jewish Center today. He wants to create a Jewish newtown," one of the emailed threats read, according to the investigation.
Thompson allegedly made threats through his personal Twitter account, as well. His tweets were allegedly made to place blame on the victim for the threats made against the Jewish Community Centers.
The FBI, New York City Police Department, and the U.S. Secret Service were involved in the investigation along with the St. Louis Police Department, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.
These allegations has University City Police wanting to talk to Thompson.
Lt. Fredrick Lemons said, "Because it's still an investigation we're looking at all aspects we've reached out to the FBI to interview Juan Thompson so we're trying to work that out at this time."
But they say there's no physical evidence that ties him to the vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery.
Karen Aroesty, with the Anti-Defamation League, said, "I feel this one a little personally because my colleagues in New York and in our San Francisco offices had to deal with specific threats as well and when you're mission driven to do this work and it strikes at you very personally it's a scary place to be."
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