A man and a woman from Rolla are facing 1st Degree Making a Terrorist Threat charges after allegedly calling in a bomb threat to Phelps County Courthouse.
A bomb threat called in to the Phelps County Circuit Clerk's Office on Thursday resulted in the arrest of a man and woman from Rolla for Making a Terrorist Threat in the 1st Degree, according to a press release from the Phelps County Sheriff's Department.
Friday, Jan. 6, warrants were issued for Bryan A. Riden, 34, of Rolla, for Making a Terrorist Threat 1st degree and Tampering With a Judicial Proceeding with a bond set at $50,000.00, according to the press release.
Additionally, warrants were also issued for Melissa S. Hannon, 39, of Rolla, for Making a Terrorist Threat 1st degree, Tampering With a Judicial Proceeding, and Tampering With Physical Evidence In Felony Prosecution and a bond was set at $50,000.00.
Thursday, Jan. 5, at approximately 1:30 PM the Phelps County Circuit Clerks office received a call of a bomb threat, the press release reported. Law Enforcement was contacted and responded to 200 North Main, Rolla, Missouri.
During the course of the initial investigation, the press release reports, it was determined that a Circuit Clerk employee received a telephone call from an unidentified caller who disclosed that an explosive device was going to detonate inside the court house.
Department heads, court house employees, and citizens were evacuated as a result of this call, the Sheriff's Department reported. An extensive search of the court house was conducted by first responders, and bomb sniffing K-9’s which resulted in no explosive devices being located, according to the press release.
Riden and Hannon were identified in the follow-up investigation thanks to a telephone number "utilized by the suspects to make the bomb threat," the press release stated.
Phelps County Sheriff Richard Lisenbe said he "wanted to thank the City of Rolla Fire Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Fort Leonard Wood Military Police K-9 Unit, and the Rolla Police Department for assisting with this investigation," in the press release.
"The charges for which Riden and Hannan have been arrested are merely an accusation and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charge must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence," The press release said.