Michigan man indicted for 2019 threat against GMUHS

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The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont announced in a press release on Friday, July 24 that a federal grand jury, sitting in Burlington has indicted Jason Graham, 24, of Michigan, for threatening Green Mountain Union High School in Chester in the winter of 2019.

GM teachers and students walk to the American Legion after evacuating the school on Feb. 7, 2019. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

On Feb. 7, 2019, an anonymous caller claimed there was a bomb in the school building and indicated that students would be shot if they were evacuated. The incident caused a massive law enforcement response. Investigation later revealed that Graham had threatened to “shoot up” the school only days before the incident, and had arranged for the anonymous call.

“It is important to know that you are never truly anonymous in this day and age,” said Chester Police Detective Adam Woodell, one of the first investigators in the case.

U.S. Attorney Christina E. Nolan agreed, saying, “Nothing could be more serious than threats to our schools and our students. Those who instill fear in children and school communities will not be allowed to hide behind their computer screens.  We will find them and bring them to federal court to face serious consequences.” She added, “This type of behavior will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be identified and brought forth for prosecution.”

An armed police detail stands outside the American Legion

Nolan thanked the Chester Police Department, the Vermont State Police, the Vermont Intelligence Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force for their collective work in investigating the threats.

Graham is charged on several counts for violations that took place on Feb. 4, 2019  and Feb. 7, 2019. If convicted, Graham faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine on each count. The current indictment is an accusation only,  according to the press release, which goes on to say that Graham is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

On Feb. 8, 2019 The Chester Telegraph reported that Graham was arrested by Michigan authorities on parole violations on the previous day.

 

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