United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida

09/23/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/24/2020 12:26

South Carolina Man Sentenced for Making a Bomb Threat to a Clinic and Lying to the FBI

Jacksonville, FL - Rodney Allen, 43, of Beaufort, South Carolina, was sentenced today in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida, to 24 months in prison. Allen previously pleaded guilty to one count of intimidating and interfering with the employees of an abortion clinic by making a bomb threat and one count of making false statements to a Special Agent with the FBI.

'The Department of Justice will prosecute anyone who threatens to blow up people and places to the fullest extent of the law,' said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. 'These kinds of ghastly criminal threats unlawfully and unjustly injure innocent people. Violence and threats of violence have no place in this country.'

'Threats of violence to healthcare facilities or their employees are serious matters,' said U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez for the Middle District of Florida. 'Thanks to the quick response and diligence by our local and federal law enforcement partners, this case was investigated thoroughly and brought to a successful conclusion.'

According to court documents, on Aug. 29, 2019, Allen called the clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and said that someone was coming to blow it up. Allen made several other calls to the clinic that day in an attempt to interfere with its ability to provide services. Employees recognized Allen's voice and were concerned that he would do something desperate, so they enlisted the help of a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office officer to search the property. The FBI obtained toll records and subscriber information for the number used to make the bomb threat to the clinic and positively identified Allen as the caller. In a voluntary and surreptitiously recorded interview with the FBI, Allen falsely denied calling the clinic and stating that someone was coming to blow it up.

This case was investigated by the FBI's Columbia and Jacksonville Divisions. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Washington of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida and Trial Attorneys Sanjay Patel and Anna Gotfryd of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.