EUGENE, OR (STL.News) A Bend, Oregon resident was sentenced to federal prison today for crafting a hoax bomb and phoning in a threat to blow up the Deschutes County Courthouse on July 29, 2019, announced U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.
Kellie Kent Cameron, 32 was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release. As part of his sentence, Cameron was also ordered to pay $43,620.18 in restitution to the Deschutes County Circuit Court, Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, First Interstate Bank in Bend, and Bend Fire & Rescue.
“Constructing a hoax bomb and threatening to blow up a courthouse to interfere with a judicial proceeding, is beyond reprehensible” said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. “Courthouses are the very symbol of justice, safety and fairness in a functioning society, and this unconscionable act not only caused fear, panic and disruption in this community, it jeopardized their sense of safety.”
“Hoax devices cause real-world damage. They cost money for first responders and businesses, and they create fear for those who live and work in the area. The device that Cameron built – and the 911 calls he made – did both. If you become aware of a potential threat, we encourage you to contact the FBI or local law enforcement right away,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.*
According to court documents, on or about July 28 to July 29, 2019, Cameron and co-defendant Jonathan Tyler Allen, 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 realistic looking fake bomb using batteries, wiring, a circuit board, and a fuel filter, among other materials.
Early on the morning of July 29, 2019, Cameron and Allen drove to the courthouse and placed the hoax device on a ramp near the building. Cameron used a cell phone to call 911 and 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, Cameron called 911 and repeated his threat using more urgent and profanity-laden language.
As a result of defendant’s threat, the Deschutes County Courthouse, the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office, a bank, and other nearby businesses were shut down and evacuated while first responders rushed to the scene and investigated the threat. When the device was discovered, a bomb squad, used disabling techniques to prevent an explosion. The device was later dismantled and found to be a hoax.
On August 7, 2019, Cameron and Allen were charged by criminal complaint with conspiring to make a threat to damage property and conveying false information and hoaxes. Cameron plead guilty in federal court on August 21, 2020 to using a telephone to make a threat to damage a building by means of an explosive.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bend Police Department, and was prosecuted by Nathan J. Lichvarcik and William M. McLaren, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.