Updated: Attorney charged in connection with bomb threats to Wilton schools
WILTON - A 52-year-old Rumford-based attorney has been charged with two counts of terrorizing in connection with bomb threat calls made to the two Wilton elementary schools in March.
Ronald E. Hoffman, of Sumner, was charged on Friday with two counts of Class D misdemeanor terrorizing.
"The charges are the result of an intensive investigation by the Wilton Police Department and the Major Crimes Division of the Maine State Police," Wilton Police Chief Heidi M. Wilcox said in a prepared statement.
On March 29, 363 pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students were evacuated from G.D. Cushing and Academy Hill schools following a pair of bomb threats called in to each building just after class started.
The calls were received by staff at the Wilton schools by a man allegedly indicating there was a bomb in the building. At the time, Wilcox described the caller's voice as an "adult male with slurred speech."
School officials immediately contacted the Franklin County dispatch center at 9:24 a.m. Students, 146 of whom were between the ages of three and seven and 217 between the ages of eight through 12, were evacuated to Farmington schools. Three fire departments, Wilton, county and state police officers responded to both Wilton schools. A NorthStar EMS ambulance stood by at the Wilton Public Safety Department station.
State police brought in bomb sniffing dogs to clear the buildings and no suspicious devices were found. Students returned to class in Wilton the next day.
According to Wilcox, her department worked with Detectives Randall Keaten and Leonard Bolton of the Major Crimes Unit of the State Police and a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"The investigation involved numerous search warrants to include warrants for cell phones and cell phone tower data which led us to Mr. Hoffman," Wilcox said.
Wilcox noted that because Hoffman is an attorney who currently practices in Franklin and Oxford counties, the prosecution of the case is being handled by the Somerset County District Attorney's Office.
"I have asked for restitution for the schools, fire departments, and ambulance service," Wilcox said.