Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eastover Man Pleads Guilty to Bomb Threat, Child Pornography Charges

COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Sidney L. Myers, age 21, of Eastover, pled guilty in federal court to willfully making a threat to damage buildings by means of explosive, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(e); and possession of child pornography, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A. United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr., of Columbia accepted the plea and will impose a sentence after the pre-sentence report has been prepared.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Myers placed two phone calls to Eau Claire High School in Columbia on the morning of November 2, 2011. He claimed to have put six bombs around the school. Subsequent investigation into phone records linked the threats to Myers’ number. When confronted, Myers eventually confessed to placing the calls.

During the bomb threat investigation, FBI agents analyzed Myers’ phone and found that it contained five videos of him engaging in sexual activity with his girlfriend, who was 16 years old. Because the phone had traveled in interstate commerce, this constituted a federal child pornography offense.

Mr. Nettles stated, “The security of South Carolina’s citizens in our public buildings will not be compromised. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will aggressively prosecute those who threaten our citizens—particularly school children—no matter how ill-conceived the threat.”

“Additionally, this case should make clear that possessing explicit cell phone images of underage subjects is a very bad idea that will send you to jail.”

Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Myers can receive on each count is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 10 years, plus a special assessment of $100.

The case was investigated by agents of the FBI. Assistant United States Attorneys Dean Eichelberger and Winston Holliday of the Columbia office handled the case.

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