Laredo Resident Pleads Guilty to Threatening to Blow Up a Federal Building
LAREDO, TX—Cristina Lara, 44, has entered a guilty plea to one count of using the telephone to threaten to blow up the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in Laredo, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
On the morning of Feb. 21, 2014, DEA received a voice-mail message from an anonymous caller threatening to blow up the building. The building houses not only the DEA, but also the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations as well as other federal agencies. It was evacuated immediately.
The FBI traced the message to a phone number located within the Laredo Medical Center which was attached to a particular phone located in the reception area of the building. Video surveillance allegedly shows Lara using the phone at the same time the call was made.
Law enforcement also obtained surveillance video filmed at the time the threatening phone call was made and identified Lara as the person who had placed the threatening phone call. Lara admitted she called the DEA and threatened to blow it up.
Senior U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen will set sentencing at a later date. At that hearing, Lara will face up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible maximum $250,000 fine. She was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.
The case is being investigated by FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonah Lee.