Oregon Man Pleads Guilty to Making False Threats of Terrorism at Two Airports
February 02, 2018
Family feud was what prompted bogus calls about terrorists at airports
(PORTLAND, ORE.) – On Thursday, Sonny Donnie Smith, 38, of Clackamas, Oregon, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Portland to making anonymous harassing telephone calls to two airports, in violation of federal law.
Smith waived indictment by a federal grand jury and pleaded guilty to an “information” filed by the United States Attorney’s Office.
According to court documents, Smith admitted to making two anonymous telephone calls to security offices at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada and Midland International Air and Space Port in Midland, Texas.
In both calls, Smith falsely reported that a family member traveling through the airport was a terrorist. An investigation revealed no real terrorist threat and that Smith made the calls because of a family feud.
“The safety and security of our nation’s airports and travelers are of paramount importance to law enforcement, and we will continue to swiftly and thoroughly investigate all threats of terrorism,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “False reports intended to harass others waste law enforcement time and resources and will be prosecuted accordingly.”
Smith faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 10, 2018 before United States District Court Judge Anna J. Brown.
This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Hannah Horsley, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.