Man sentenced to more than four years in prison for courthouse threats

CLEVELAND — An ex-convict pleaded guilty today to making more than 100 telephone bomb threats to courthouses and other public buildings in five states, including Oregon, and a judge promptly sentenced him to 51 months in prison.

Lonny Bristow, 39, of Mansfield, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, waived a standard pre-sentence report and was sentenced by Judge Dan Aaron Polster.

Bristow was arrested in bomb threats made in November and December to courthouses and public buildings in Nebraska, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee and Mississippi.

Jackson County's courthouse was among 28 county courthouses and the Oregon Public Service Building, which houses the OSP's headquarters in Salem, that got threats Nov. 19. A man who telephoned Jackson County's elections office and said a bomb would explode in the courthouse in 25 minutes. The old county courthouse at 10 S. Oakdale Ave. and the Justice Center across the street were evacuated and searched, but nothing was found, officials said at the time.

The FBI said it traced numerous bomb threats to prepaid phone cards purchased at a Wal-Mart store in Upper Sandusky, about 40 miles west of Mansfield.

Bristow made at least 10 threatening calls Nov. 2 to Nebraska, at least nine on Nov. 15 to Washington, at least 30 on Nov. 19 to Oregon, at least 32 on Nov. 27 to Tennessee, at least 30 on Dec. 12 to Mississippi and at least 17 on Dec. 17 to Mississippi, according to a court filing.

No explosives were found.

The Mansfield News Journal reported last month that since 1993, Bristow filed at least 137 lawsuits, targeting law enforcement personnel, judges, media outlets and others. In 1997, he was labeled a "vexatious litigator," someone who files annoying lawsuits.

Bristow also was the first inmate in Ohio to have his mail privileges revoked, the newspaper reported. He received a 13-year prison sentence for theft, retaliation, aiding an escape, harassment by an inmate and telephone harassment.

— Associated Press

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