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D.C. man pleads guilty to bomb threat against Amtrak

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A D.C. man pleaded guilty Tuesday to phoning in bomb threats to Amtrak that resulted in train delays in November and January.

Michael Jerome Dennis, 27, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District to a federal charge of threatening and conveying false information about an attempt or alleged attempt to use a destructive device.

The charge stems from incidents on Nov. 30 and Jan. 19, in which Dennis called in threats to Amtrak's National Communications Center. At the time of the threats, he was working for a contractor at a site near the Amtrak bridge on New York Avenue just north of Union Station in Northeast.

Prosecutors said the bridge was the target of both threats. All Amtrak trains from the Northeast Corridor that come into and out of the District must pass under the bridge. As a result of the threats, police searched the bridge and the surrounding area. Prosecutors said six Amtrak trains were delayed, affecting over 1,000 passengers.

Dennis was arrested May 3 after the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated. According to a statement of facts, he admitted making the phone threats and pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from the Nov. 30 threat.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, but under federal sentencing guidelines Dennis will likely receive a prison term between 18 and 24 months when he is sentenced on Nov. 9.

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