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Courthouse bomb-threat charges result from Wal-Mart surveillance footage of cellphone purchase

Posted Apr 3, 2014 12:59 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Security camera footage at a Wal-Mart where a cellphone was purchased led to charges against two men in connection with a bomb threat at a Washington state courthouse last week.

Tony Deason, 43, and Steven Alan Fortman Sr., 49, were arrested by Port Angeles police in an investigation of threats to bomb or injure the Clallam County Courthouse, and Fortman has been formally charged with making a bomb threat and possession of methamphetamine, according to KONP and the Peninsula Daily News.

Fortman is accused of buying the cellphone and using it to call in the bomb threat last Friday before throwing it away. Police said he admitted to making the bomb-threat call and said he had done so because Deason, who had a Friday court date, told him to do so, paid for the phone and gave him cash and drugs.

After the call was made, investigators got GPS coordinates for the cellphone from which it was made. They found the cellphone near Hurricane Ridge Road in Olympic National Park, where Fortman is said to have discarded it by throwing it out of the window of his vehicle. Then they determined from phone records that it had been activated near the Wal-Mart store not long before the threatening call was received, the Daily News recounts.

Store surveillance photos showed a man who was later identified as Fortman had left the Wal-Mart in a blue pickup after buying the phone, police said.

The articles don't include any comment by the two men or their legal counsel.

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