- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Two contractors for the Navy have been charged in separate cases with reporting bogus bomb threats around ships in the San Diego area.

The federal indictments, which could bring each man five years in prison, were announced Thursday by the U.S. attorney.

In one case, prosecutors allege 26-year-old contractor Joshua Rice told Navy security that he saw the word “bomb” written inside a portable toilet near three vessels docked at Naval Base San Diego on May 17. The report caused evacuations and shut down work on all the surrounding ships.

In the other case, prosecutors say 22-year-old Robert Rubio was working as a welder on Sept. 24 when he wrote “9-24-16 400 bomb” on a wall inside the USS Cowpens while it was undergoing repairs.

Both men were arraigned Thursday, but it’s not clear whether they entered pleas.

Prosecutors did not suggest a motive for either man.

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