Des Moines Man Convicted of Internet Threats of Violence, Possessing a Firearm During Threats of Violence, and Identity Theft Man Made Multiple Threats to Boeing Company and Anacortes Oil Refinery
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 06, 2009|
GINO AUGUSTUS TURRELLA, 47, of Des Moines, Washington, was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of 19 felony counts regarding threats he made against the Boeing Company, Shell Oil, and Chevron Oil Company. The jury deliberated about five hours following a four day jury trial in front of U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour. TURRELLA was convicted of two counts of making Interstate Communications with Threat to Injure Person, seven counts of making Threat by Instrument of Interstate Commerce, one count of Possessing a Firearm during Threats of Violence, and nine counts of Identity Theft. TURRELLA faces a mandatory minimum five years in prison and up to 10 years in prison when sentenced on February 19, 2010.
TURRELLA was arrested on August 26, 2008, in the parking lot of the REI store in Tukwila, Washington. In a search of his home, law enforcement recovered more than 100 firearms. According to records in the case and testimony at trial, TURRELLA sent threats via e-mail and through the Internet, on nine occasions between the dates of May 2, 2008, and May 30, 2008. In making the threats, TURRELLA posed as other real people, and used e-mail addresses that he had opened under the names of those individuals. In the e-mails that he transmitted to Boeing, TURRELLA stated variously that he was going to bring a gun into a Boeing facility and “shoot ever [sic] employee I see,” and also that he would “strap himself with explosives and detonate” them if and when he was apprehended, in order to cause “maximum death and destruction in the workplace!” In an e-mail he posted to the Anacortes oil refinery website, and to the Richmond, California Chevron Oil refinery website, he stated that “a bomb was placed at a strategic location at the oil refinery” and that he was “going to set if off via remote control” so that it “will kill the most of your employees and do the most destruction to your refinery.”
In making the threats to the Boeing Company TURRELLA posed as one of his former managers at the Boeing Company. TURRELLA was angry at the manager because he had authorized disciplinary action against him. In making the threats to the Shell and Chevron Oil refineries, TURRELLA posed as a different person—a former co-worker at another company that TURRELLA disliked. In both cases, TURRELLA apparently hoped that the people who he impersonated when making the threats would suffer repercussions—either in their jobs or even perhaps in the form of criminal investigation—because of them. Prosecutors were able to show that TURRELLA’s laptop contained evidence linking him to the e-mail accounts used to send the threats, and that the laptop had been logged on to the wireless networks at the King County Library or Highline Community College when the threatening communications were transmitted.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Auburn Police Department, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kathryn Warma and Aravind Swaminathan.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.