Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 18, 2013

Man charged with threatening to bomb schools

RICHLANDS, Va. — Detectives of the Richlands Police Department were alerted to threats to public schools in the Richlands area that had been made Wednesday afternoon, pursued leads and arrested a suspect in the case late Wednesday night.

Frankie Edward Smith, 52, of 421 Maple Lane, Richlands was arrested without incident at about 11:30 p.m. according to Lt. R.W. Brown of the Richlands Police Department. The Richlands PD and Virginia State Police participated in the arrest, according to a press release from Brown.

Police charged Smith with two counts of threatening to bomb or burn a public building. Smith is being held at the Southwest Regional Jail in Tazewell, Va., according to the press release.

In a later press release, Brown stated the Richlands police department wasn’t notified about the threats until after the end of the school day on Wednesday. “The suspect was in custody before school was set to start (on Thursday),” he stated.

“There was also a plan in place that if the suspect had not been apprehended prior to the start of school that would have ensured the safety of the schools,” Brown stated. “However luckily, we did not have to implement the plan.

“Our goal was and has always been the safety of the community and our children,” according to an email message from Brown.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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