Oakwood Man Sentenced to 48 Months for Making Online Threats
Allen Sammons Threatened to Travel to Several Universities and Commit School Shootings
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 01, 2009|
ABINDGON, VIRGINIA—A Oakwood man who used a social networking website to threaten harm to people at several universities and make promises of school shootings at locations throughout the country was sentenced yesterday to four years of federal incarceration for his crimes.
Allen Leon Sammons, 28,was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court for the Wester District of Virginia in Abingdon to 48 months of federal incarceration. Sammons pleaded guilty in June to five counts of transmitting in interstate commerce a communication threatening to injure the person of another.
“The investigation of this case was one of the finest examples of cooperative law enforcement that I have seen in my career,” United States Attorney Julia C. Dudley said today. “The way information about this individual and his threats was shared among local, state and federal agencies should be an example to all law enforcement organizations.”
Sammons has admitted that on several different occasions he sent e-mail messages to individuals or posted messages on livejournal.com, a social networking website that allows artists and authors to post their work and have others comment on it, that contained threats to harm others. Some of those messages that were included in the indictment are as follows.
On December 29, 2007, Sammons posted on livejournal.com the message:
“the blood of [C.W.], [D.T.], and my own is on your hands. Its something you will have to live with for the rest of your lives, you should have just let it go and left me alone. Only thing im [sic] waiting for is the rejection letter. You are at fault.”
One minute later Sammons posted this message:
“I will be killing them with luck I’ll be killed also..if not I’ll plee [sic] insanity...doesn’t matter anymore...you are at fault...the blood is on your hands...” Later in the evening he continued. “I know you think it’s a joke and not real. The blood of [C.W.], [D.T.] and my own in on your hands.”
On December 30, 2007, Sammons again posted a message on Livejournal.com, again making a threat of violence to others on the site.
“You should have let it go, you should have let it go, but you had to pretend to be a bad a– and now I’ve been pushed to far and tragic things are going to take place. If you could have just let us part ways than [D] would not be dead.” On January 9, 2008, Sammons received an e-mail from the Rice University Admissions Department requesting SAT subject scores. Sammons replied with the following:
“I have a highschool diploma thats [sic] all you should *** need. Classist and elitists. [sic]. AK-47 on your campus for destroying lives.”
In a separate response to the Rice University Admissions Department, Sammons wrote, “Cho shotup Vtech for this very same horse s—.” As a result of these postings and out of concern for their safety, some employees of the Rice University admissions department left the office that day and decided to work from home.
On January 10, 2008, Sammons responded to an individual on LiveJournal.com who described the recent death of the poster’s stepfather by stating:
“You’ve caused [A] to betray her old boyfriend (you are a cheater) and her old friend. You will be joining your stepfater [sic] in 2008.”
In addition, Sammons also posted long essays on livejournal.com expressing his frustrations with the university system, his inability to afford college and his aggravation with “traditional students” whose parents pay for everything.
In one post, Sammons stated that he intended to take over a university by force in order to make his point. At times, he stated he bought a cheap, imitation AK-47, which he would use. He also, at times, said he intended to commit suicide by cop while in the process of taking over the campus. During a search of Sammons’s hard drive, law enforcement officials found a document labeled “People to Kill.” The document contained the names of various people and their addresses.
In August of 2007, Sammons traveled to the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana to confront some of the students he had posted threats to on livejournal.com. He wrote that he waited outside the apartment door of these individuals, but changed his mind about his course of action.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bristol Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Virginia State Police, the Big Stone Gap Police Department, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, the Rice University Police Department and the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana Police Department. Assistant United States Jennifer Bockhorst prosecuted the case for the United States.