FBI Cleveland
Special Agent Vicki D. Anderson
(216) 522-1400
May 6, 2015

Youngstown Man Arrested for Making Bomb Threats

Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), for the Northern District of Ohio, in conjunction with Chief Robin Lees, Youngstown Chief of Police, announce the arrest of Rakieda D. Cheatham on May 1, 2015.

On March 27, 2015, Youngstown Police Department’s Bomb Squad responded to Vallourec Star’s facility located at 2669 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Youngstown, Ohio in reference to bomb threats received by Vallourec Star employees via e-mail earlier that same day. Vallourec Star followed personnel security protocols by evacuating the entire operational and administration personnel sections, displacing 653 employees for three hours, while security and bomb sweeps were conducted.

On May 1, 2015, Rakieda D. Cheatham was taken into custody without incident at her residence in Youngstown, Ohio by agents of the Youngstown Resident Agency of the FBI and officers of the Youngstown Police Department. Cheatham has been charged with making threatening communications, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ss875; and Communicating False Information (bomb threat), in violation of 18 U.S.C. ss1038.

“We appreciate the urgency and expediency from the Youngstown Police and FBI in this investigation. We take the safety of our employees very seriously and will fully cooperate with the authorities in this case,” said Judson Wallace, President of Vallourec Star.

“Ms. Cheatham’s false bomb threat caused a significant amount of panic in the employees of Vallourec Star and caused a considerable amount of law enforcement and safety resources to be utilized. The FBI will continue efforts to collaborate with our local partners to hold accountable those that make false unlawful threats to the safety of others,” Anthony said.

A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any; their role in the offenses; and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentences will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.