A D.C. man was sentenced to 20 months in prison Wednesday for phoning in bomb threats to Amtrak that resulted in train delays in November 2011 and January, prosecutors said.
Michael Jerome Dennis, 27, pleaded guilty in August 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.
Dennis also must serve five years of supervised release after his prison sentence and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District. He was ordered to pay $5,002 in restitution to Amtrak and to undergo counseling.
The charge stemmed from incidents on Nov. 30, 2011, 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. Because 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.