Federal charge filed in connection with Miami, Okla., bomb threat
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Thursday, September 13, 2012
An Ottawa County man was charged Thursday in Tulsa federal court with attempting to extort money from a Miami, Okla., bank.
Bobby Harris, 25, of Miami was arrested Tuesday and remained in the Ottawa County Jail as of Thursday evening.
An FBI affidavit filed Thursday says a Miami police dispatcher received a call about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday stating that a bomb had been placed, and would explode, at Miami High School.
Miami Police Chief George Haralson has previously said about 500 students were evacuated safely to a church about a block from the school.
Welch State Bank received a phone call from a man who stated that he wanted $3,000 or he would set a bomb off at the high school, the affidavit says.
The first phone call was made from a cell phone, which was found with a backpack near Welch State Bank, according to Haralson.
The second threat was made from a Walmart pay phone, he said.
Haralson said Tuesday that "we knew the bomb threat was a hoax but proceeded to search the school with bomb dogs from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Tulsa Police Department."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Woodward said Thursday evening that Harris could face as much as 20 years in prison if convicted of the federal extortion charge.
Woodward expects Harris to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Tulsa next week.