Bend Man Pleads Guilty For Placing Hoax Bomb at Descutes County Courthouse

EUGENE, Ore.—A Bend, Oregon man pleaded guilty today for placing a hoax bomb at the Deschutes County Courthouse on July 29, 2019, announced U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.

Jonathan Tyler Allen, 24, pleaded guilty to conspiring to use a telephone to make a threat to destroy a building with an explosive.

            According to court documents, on or about July 28 to July 29, 2019, Allen and co-conspirator Kellie Cameron, 31, also of Bend, conspired with one another to shut down the Deschutes County Courthouse in Bend by planting a fake bomb and calling in a bomb threat. Around the same time, Cameron constructed a fake bomb using batteries, wiring, a circuit board, and a fuel filter, among other materials.

            On July 29, 2019, Allen and Cameron drove to the courthouse and placed the hoax device on a ramp near the building. At approximately 7:18am the same day, Cameron, who was with Allen, used a cell phone to call 911. He told the operator, “I just want to let you know that there are two bombs, one’s in the courthouse and good luck finding the other one.” Less than an hour later, with Allen again present, Cameron called 911 a second time to repeat his threat. Allen later threw one of the phones used into a canal to avoid being caught.

            On August 7, 2019, Allen and Cameron were charged by criminal complaint with conspiring to make a threat regarding explosive materials and conveying false information and hoaxes.

Allen faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced on September 6, 2020 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will recommend Allen be sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

Cameron made his first appearance in federal court on August 21, 2019. He entered a not guilty plea and was detained pending trial. Judge McShane continued the detention order pending sentencing.

            This case was investigated by the FBI, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and the Bend Police Department and is being prosecuted by Nathan J. Lichvarcik, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.