Sunday, June 16, 2024

This ‘joke’ can cost you time in a federal prison

The FBI is starting a campaign to educate the public on the consequences of posting hoax threats to schools and other public places.

The Bureau said “hoax threats are not a joke.”

“In the aftermath of tragic shootings such as the ones at Santa Fe High School and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the FBI and law enforcement around the country often see an increase in threats made to schools and other public forums,” FBI officials wrote in a news release sent from the Bureau’s Norfolk field office.

Officials said the FBI and local law enforcement follow up on every tip they receive. Agents and officers “analyze and investigate all threats to determine their credibility.”

For threats deemed credible, federal state, and local law enforcement “employ a full range of tools to mitigate those threats.”

Hoaxes drain law enforcement resources and cost taxpayers a lot of money, the FBI said.

When an investigation concludes there was a hoax threat made to a school, or another public place, a federal charge could be considered, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

If there’s not enough for a federal charge, then a state charge may be looming.

The Bureau and local law enforcement are asking the public to continue to contact them to report any potential threat or suspicious activity.

If the need is immediate, the public is urged to call 911 or contact the FBI at or over the phone, 800-CALL-FBI.

The public also can call their nearest FBI field office.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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