Nashville/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 23, 2024
California Man Indicted for ISIS Bomb Threats at Nashville Airport and Schools NationwideSource: Mx. Granger, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

A California man was nabbed after prosecutors say he made bomb threats to Nashville International Airport (BNA) and falsely claimed mass violence attacks against schools across the country, allegedly in ISIS's name, federal officials disclosed.

Eduardo Vicente Pelayo Rodriguez, 31, from Riverside, was slapped with a hefty 18-count indictment, including stalking and transmitting threats in interstate commerce, the Justice Department announced Wednesday, with potential jail time looming over his head if convicted, reports WKRN.

Rodriguez is accused of making "swatting calls" that prompted emergency law enforcement responses, including calling the Nashville airport and asserting he had placed a bomb on a plane, saying, "This is for ISIS," and "one hour, boom," according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. This ruse eventually led to his arrest, with an arraignment scheduled for Wednesday at the Riverside U.S. District Court, per News Channel5.

The indictment also pins him for threats to multiple schools, including Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, where a horrific 2012 massacre still haunts the nation; and such threats are not taken lightly, as United States Attorney Martin Estrada emphasized, claiming they're "highly troubling," Rodriguez designed them to "cause maximum fear and trigger an emergency response," WSMV detailed.

In a tough stance against swatting incidents, which involve false reports of emergencies, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, Krysti Hawkins, noted that these hoaxes are serious crimes with severe consequences, while U.S. Attorney Estrada also stressed the importance of holding such wrongdoers accountable, signaling a concerted effort to tackle the rise of mischievous yet dangerous pranks, multiple agencies are investigating the case with inputs from the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported.