Michigan man pleads guilty to 2019 GMUHS bomb scare, threats

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A 24 year-old Holland, Mich., man pleaded guilty, in federal court in Burlington to making a threat to “shoot up” Green Mountain Union High School in February of 2019. The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont announced the plea deal on Friday, Sept. 24.

GM teachers and students walk to the American Legion after evacuating the school. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney, in February 2019, Jason Graham became engaged in an on-line dispute on Facebook with a group of Vermont high school students. During the course of the dispute, on Feb. 4, 2019, Graham made threats via Facebook to “shoot up” Green Mountain Union High School. The Telegraph reported extensively about the incidents.

In the following days, the on-line dispute continued and Graham arranged for a someone to call the GMUHS saying that a bomb had been placed in a bathroom and that students evacuating the building would be shot.

Graham was indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2020. At the plea hearing last week, the government noted that more than half the GMUHS student body skipped school in response to Graham’s Feb. 4, 2019 Facebook threat, and that the subsequent bomb threat to GMUHS drew a massive law enforcement response.

Graham was on parole for prior felonies in Michigan at the time of the threats and when they were tracked to him, Graham was found to have a gun that he was not supposed to have. He was arrested and convicted of the firearm violation and recently completed his minimum sentence for that crime.

The federal plea agreement states that Graham will receive a sentence of no more than one year and one day. Graham will remain in custody pending sentencing. Had Graham been convicted on the several charges he faced, he could have been sentenced to up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine on each count.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt 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 investigation of the case.

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