Bomb threat penalty doubled

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 21, 2002

[03/21/02]Mississippi’s maximum criminal penalty for bomb threats has been doubled under a law state Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, wrote and guided to passage.

The new maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine under the statue Gov. Ronnie Musgrove has signed. It goes into effect immediately.

Flaggs said he proposed the law in response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11 and after four Vicksburg buildings were evacuated due to threats during a seven-week stretch before and after the attacks.

In one of the threats, at Vicksburg High School on Sept. 28, two Vicksburg teen-agers were arrested and indicted in the January term of the Warren County Grand Jury. Both have pleaded guilty since Feb. 25. Each has received a suspended prison sentence with three years’ probation and been ordered to pay $4,773 in fines, costs and restitution, with one also being sentenced to complete a restitution-center program.

E-911 records show 53 bomb threats were reported in Warren County in 2000 and 47 in 2001.