CLEVELAND — Lonny Bristow didn’t waste any time resolving his case.
Bristow, 39, of Piper Road, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal district court to six counts of violating Title 18. Bristow phoned in bomb threats to nearly 130 public buildings, mostly courthouses, in five states late last year.
Bristow, who was arrested last month, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.
He could have received up to 60 years behind bars.
Bristow made calls to Nebraska, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee and Mississippi between Nov. 2 and Dec. 17. In each case, he paid $10 for a prepaid calling card at the Walmart in Upper Sandusky. Each card had distinctive identifying features, including a unique activation number, that allowed authorities to track him down.
“These threats caused fear and panic throughout courthouses around the country,” said Steven Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “The FBI did a tremendous job in piecing this case together.”
Stephen Anthony, special agent in charge of the Cleveland division of the FBI for the Northern District of Ohio, added, “The FBI will continue efforts to aggressively pursue charges against anyone, such as Mr. Bristow, who chooses to make reckless and malicious bomb threats.”
Attorney Carolyn Kucharski, who represented Bristow, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Authorities searched Bristow’s residence on March 21 and seized computers, digital storage devices, other electronic equipment, documents, bank cards, weapons and ammunition.
Bristow has been in trouble before. He previously was sentenced to 13 years in prison for theft, retaliation, aiding an escape, harassment by an inmate and telephone harassment. He was the first inmate in Ohio to have his mail privileges revoked.
Since 1993, Bristow has filed at least 137 lawsuits, targeting law enforcement personnel, judges, media outlets — including the News Journal — and others. The lawsuits usually were tossed out. Bristow was labeled a “vexatious litigator” in 1997, limiting the number of lawsuits he could file.
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