A West Virginia man was arrested Monday on multiple felony charges after authorities said he claimed to have planted explosive devices in a federal building and a church.
The devices turned out to be fake.
James Dean Fowler, 50, of Bluefield, West Virginia, now faces two counts of possession or use of a hoax bomb in the commission of a felony, one count of false reports of bombs or explosive devices, and two counts of making threats. for terrorist acts, Bluefield Police Department Chief Dennis Dillow said at a news conference Monday night.
Several buildings in downtown Bluefield were evacuated Monday morning after police responded to reports of a bomb threat at the city’s federal courthouse. Police discovered three suspicious devices in the building, Dillow said.
Dillow said US Marshals at the federal building in Bluefield indicated that Fowler wanted to speak to someone about national security and indicated that he had an explosive device.
The device was dismantled with a police explosive and determined to be fake.
An X-ray showed that another placed in the church also contained no explosives.
“This was a very difficult day for us,” Dillow said. “We were lucky that these devices turned out to be fake.” A search of Fowler’s nearby apartment turned up no devices, the official confirmed.