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Man faces charges after making hoax bomb threats to Newberg High School, hospital

Written by on December 2, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment today charging a former resident of Newberg, Oregon with calling in hoax bomb threats to three schools and one hospital in Oregon.

Sean Case McGinley, 40, has been charged with four counts of making interstate threats involving explosives and four counts of conveying false information and hoaxes about destructive devices.

According to court documents, on October 26, 2021, McGinley began making multiple calls to the Newberg-Dundee Police Department dispatch center in which he referenced putting a pipe bomb under a vehicle in Newberg. Officers checked the area McGinley referenced, but did not locate a bomb. Meanwhile, McGinley’s calls and phone number were recorded and determined to originate from the St. Louis, Missouri area. Investigators later learned that McGinley formerly resided in Newberg and had family in and around St. Louis.

On November 9, 2021, McGinley placed another call to the Newberg-Dundee dispatch center claiming that a pipe bomb had been placed in the vehicle tailpipe of a Newberg Municipal Court judge. A Newberg-Dundee police officer returned McGinley’s call and spoke with him about the alleged tip. During this discussion, McGinley told the officer that he hoped someone would place a pipe bomb in the judge’s vehicle tailpipe and that he believed the judge was worthless.

On the morning of November 12, 2021, the principal of Newberg High School contacted Newberg-Dundee police to report a potential bomb threat. The principal gave officers a voicemail from an unknown person claiming there was a pipe bomb in the school. Officers determined that the hoax threat was placed by McGinley and that it also originated in St. Louis. Later the same morning, McGinley called a similar threat into Sherwood High School. McGinley then called a school resource officer at Sherwood High School, identified himself, and provided information about a purported pedophilia ring in Sherwood.

Between November 18 and 23, 2021, McGinley called in at least eight additional bomb threats to various public and private institutions. On November 18 and 22, 2021, McGinley called in threats to St. Paul High School and an elementary school in Tigard, Oregon. On November 23, 2021 alone, he called in four separate threats to Fowler Middle School and Twality Middle School in Tigard, the Providence Newberg Medical Center, and Providence Sherwood Medical Plaza. The threat made to the Providence Sherwood Medical Plaza prompted the facility to evacuate ambulatory patients and staff.

Amidst McGinley’s late November threat spree, authorities sought and obtained a federal criminal complaint and arrest warrant against McGinley and, on November 24, 2021, FBI agents arrested him in St. Louis. McGinley made his first appearance in federal court in the Eastern District of Missouri on November 29, 2021 and was ordered detained pending transfer to the District of Oregon. The investigation into McGinley’s threats is ongoing.

Making interstate threats involving explosives is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison, three years’ supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Conveying false information and hoaxes about destructive devices is punishable by up to five years in federal prison, three years’ supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Newberg-Dundee, Tigard, and Sherwood Police Departments and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott M. Kerin is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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