FBI Agents Arrest Columbus Man for Threatening to Bomb Hospital
FBI agents arrested a Columbus, Mississippi man today for phoning a bomb threat into a local hospital. A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Oxford charges Michael Anthony Sparks, 25, of Columbus with one count of violating 18 USC §§ 844 (e).
Agents took Sparks into federal custody at the LeFlore County Jail, where he had been incarcerated since November 13 on state court charges of possession of contraband in a correctional facility.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrant, at approximately noon on November 13, Sparks utilized a wireless phone to call and threaten to blow up Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus. Columbus Police quickly responded and summoned additional resources from the Columbus Air Force Base; the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the FBI to help investigate. Hospital officials evacuated non-essential staff and family members of during the sweep.
Agents and officers located Sparks in a Mississippi Department of Corrections facility near Greenwood. With the assistance and cooperation of MDOC leadership, Sparks was interviewed and later identified as the person who made the call.
If convicted, Sparks faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sparks appeared this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Oxford before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander and was remanded to federal custody. Assistant United States Attorney Bob Norman is prosecuting the case.