Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Bomb Plot Hoax
Claimed Knowledge of Plot to Bomb Federal Courthouses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 05, 2010|
FRESNO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Michael Dean Jackson, 43, of Texas, pled guilty today before United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to providing false information about a purported bomb plot.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Assistant United States Attorney Duce Rice prosecuted the case.
According to court documents, on May 5, 2010, Jackson was an inmate at the Tulare County Jail. After he provided information to a Tulare County Sheriff’s Department employee about a plot to bomb federal courthouses, FBI JTTF officers interviewed him, and Jackson agreed to submit to a polygraph examination to verify his threat information.
On May 7, 2010, Jackson was out of custody on his own recognizance and reconfirmed to an FBI JTTF special agent that there was in fact a plot to blow up the federal courthouses. Jackson was told by the special agent that if this information were exaggerated or fabricated in any way, he should so advise the agent. Jackson told the special agent the information he provided was correct. As a result of this information, investigative leads were sent out to the affected FBI field offices and considerable time and investigative resources were expended by FBI agents and JTTF officers.
Jackson went to the Clovis Police Department to submit to a polygraph examination. During the examination, Jackson was advised by the polygraph examiner that he was strongly reacting to the questions. Jackson initially denied that he had falsified the threat information, but finally admitted that he was not telling the truth. Jackson confessed that he made up the information regarding the plot to bomb federal courthouses to prevent being extradited to Texas for violating parole. He stated that he was trying to stay in California since he was recently released from prison in Texas after serving a lengthy sentence, and he wanted to stay in California for his mother who was dying from cancer.
Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge O’Neill on January 28, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.