A 14-year-old who attended Buchholz High School was arrested in February for making fake bomb threats. He didn’t call in the threats himself, he actually said he used the dark net to pay for the threats to be issued.
He was allegedly making threats on February 8th, 16th, and 18th. The judge decided as part of his sentence he was to write a letter of apology to the community and was made to perform several hours of community service.
“My intent was never to cause chaos or scare people. I arranged the threats initially just to see if it would actually happen and we’d get out of school,” the 14-year-old wrote in his letter. “As it turned out, I wasn’t actually at school the first day the incident happened. So I did it again to see what it was like. By the time I caused the third threat, I had told a few friends and they were encouraging me to do it again.”
The threats created major chaos at the school and the response from Alachua County Sheriff’s Office was all out. Along with two school assigned officers, patrol deputies as well as K-9 units swept the school.
The 14-year-old boy was identified through investigations, by talking to students, teachers, and other to hone in on the boy. A warrant was issued for the boy’s phone and investigators discovered that the boy had been surfing dark net.
“This student was so sophisticated with his knowledge that the phone he was sing is what we call jail broken, which means it may look like a normal phone but if you put a certain password in, there is a completely different operating system. That is where he was able to secure services from the dark web. You can buy anything from bazookas to bomb threats. Other illegal activity occurs on that off the grid website,” investigators said.
Investigators also said this is the first case like this that they have been involved with. This isn’t the first case of bomb threats bought of the dark net though. Purchased threats have shut down schools, airports and hospitals in other countries.
The minor and his parents were very cooperative with law enforcement, but it was noted that the youngster “still has a lot of work to do”.
“The general parameters are he will have a very large number of community service hours designed to make restitution for some of the expenses. A lot of community service work this summer and next. The letter of apology was to force him to think his way through it. He is also to participate in a restorative justice program,” one investigator said.