Hot Springs Man Sentenced to 7 Months for Bomb Threats

HOT SPRINGS, NATIONAL PARK, AR (News release) - A 52-year-old Hot Springs man was sentenced last month by US District Court Judge to seven months in prison followed by 2 ½ years of federal probation and the collection of his DNA for his role in calling two bomb threats of a Hot Springs National Park facility during the October 2013 government shutdown.

Jeffrey Spahn, of Mailey Drive, Hot Springs, was charged and convicted for a violation of Title 18 United States Code 844(e) “using a telephone to willfully make a threat to damage or destroy a building by means of an explosive”. Spahn was held in custody until his sentencing on April 25th.

On October 9, National Park Ranger Josh Ford was dispatched to Hot Springs Mountain Tower regarding a 911 call concerning a bomb being placed there. The unidentified male said that the Tower had been rigged with detonation cord and that sensors had been put in place around the area. The caller went on to say how the detonation cord would burn at 9000- feet per second once activated. A short time later, a second phone call came in reporting a bomb in the park. The caller reported that the bomb would explode if the government did not get its act together and re-open the park.

Additional park rangers were called in to conduct a thorough search of the area. No explosives were found the area and nothing appeared to have been tampered with.

Rangers then turned their investigation to the origin of the call. Through coordination with the Hot Springs Police Department, it was determined that the call had originated from the area where Spahn resides.

Ranger Ford conducted a recorded, formal interview after Spahn waived his Miranda rights. During the interview Spahn said he was angry with the government and how the shutdown was implemented. He said that after drinking most of the evening with a friend it seemed like a good idea to call in the bomb threats using his intoxicated friend’s cell phone.

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