The man who placed school officials, parents and students in fear by mailing false bomb threats to several local area middle and high schools, including in Johns Creek, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Willis B. Hunt Jr.
Valtrez Stewart, 29, of Chicago pleaded guilty to these charges on Jan. 27. He was sentenced to three years and 10 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said, “It is disturbing that this individual threatened children and wasted law enforcement resources as part of his retaliation scheme. Every bomb threat is taken seriously and, as the defendant learned today, there are serious consequences whether the threat is real or a hoax.”
According to Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, between Jan. 28, 2011, and Feb. 2, 2011, Stewart mailed bomb threats to Northview High School, Marietta High School, Stephenson Middle School in Stone Mountain, and Meadowcreek High School in Norcross.
Each threat consisted of a collage of newspaper and magazine clippings of words and numbers. The message stated, in part, that a bomb would detonate at the school, killing at least 20 people, and promised brutal murders if money was not paid by a certain date to particular individuals who were listed in the threat each school received as persons supposedly responsible for sending the threat.
It turned out that none of the individuals named as being the person to whom money should be sent to avert detonation of the bomb had knowledge of the threat. The FBI’s investigation revealed that Stewart sent the threats in an effort to cause the police to harass these certain individuals against whom he had a grudge.
Law enforcement officials soon identified Stewart as the source of the threats when it was discovered that all the threats were mailed from Stewart’s hometown in Illinois and that Stewart was connected to all the people who were identified as the alleged senders of the letters.
There were never any bombs, and the schools and students were never in any danger.
This case is being investigated by Task Force Officers of the FBI, the Chamblee Police Department, the Marietta Police Department, Gwinnett County Police Department, Dekalb County Police Department, and Johns Creek Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracia M. King is prosecuting the case.