Man arrested in 150-plus bomb threats, including at Geneva’s Temple Beth-El

A man from Peru has been arrested in connection to more than 150 bomb threats made across multiple states — including one to Temple Beth-El in Geneva.

Geneva Police had been alerted to a potential bomb threat at the temple on Sunday morning, Sept. 17. A K-9 unit from the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office investigated and found no bombs or incendiary devices. In-person services at Temple Beth-El were cancelled for that day, which was during the Jewish High Holy Days.

Now, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has announced the arrest of Eddie Manuel Nunez Santos, charged in connection with hoax bomb threats to synagogues, school districts, hospitals, airports and a shopping mall. The threats took place between Sept. 15 and Sept. 21 in spanned multiple states across the country — including New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Arizona and Alaska — according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The threats caused thousands of children to be evacuated from schools, a hospital to be locked down, and flights to be delayed, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Nunez Santos, a 33-year-old Peruvian national, was arrested Sept. 26 in Lima, Peru, by Peruvian authorities, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Geneva Police Chief Mike Colton said the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force informed Geneva police that Temple Beth-El was among the targets of the threats.

Nunez Santos is also accused of trying to get a 15-year-old girl to send him nude and sexually explicit photographs, and sent her and other minors bomb threats after they refused, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He is charged with transmitting threatening interstate communications, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; conveying sales information and hoaxes (a maximum of 50 years), attempting to sexually exploit a child (minimum of 15, maximum of 30), and attempting to receive child pornography (minimum of five, maximum of 20).

More than 50 federal, state and local agencies, including the FBI, cooperated on the investigation. The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s National Security and International Narcotics Unit.

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