For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
, United States Attorney
Contact: Rachel J. Scherle
Bettendorf Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Bomb Threat
Field Division: Kansas City Field Division
DAVENPORT, Iowa-- On February 13, 2018, America Yegile Haileselassie, age 39, of Bettendorf, was sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge John A. Jarvey to 60 months in prison following his guilty plea to interstate communication of a bomb threat, according to United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum. Haileselassie was ordered to serve one year of supervised release following his prison term and pay $100 to the Crime Victims’ Fund.
According to the plea agreement, on November 4, 2015, Scott County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to Scott Community College (SCC) in Davenport and observed a stack of printed papers from the Student Success Center, each with a printed message: "There is a bomb at Scott Community College. It will explode at noon today." The bomb threat was discovered when a SCC employee who was working in the Student Success Center noticed a large stack of papers being printed and cancelled the print job. A specific email address identified to America Haileselassie was observed on the printer as the printing was cancelled. SCC personnel initiated bomb threat protocol and searched the premises for a bomb. No bomb or explosive was found at SCC. Law enforcement officers later learned Haileselassie had been verbally advised the week prior to the threat he was going to be suspended from school for stealing a book. Haileselassie admitted he sent the bomb threat by accessing the Internet, causing a message to be sent to a printer at SCC.
At sentencing, the Court applied sentencing enhancements for causing a substantial disruption to SCC, and obstruction of justice. The obstruction enhancement was based on Haileselassie sending false anonymous tips to law enforcement naming someone else as making the bomb threats.
This investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Scott County Sheriff’s Office; and Bettendorf Police Department. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.