Police in Franklin County, Illinois, claim they've arrested a Florida man in connection to multiple bomb threats against Sesser-Valier Schools and their surrounding facilities.
The man who law enforcement claim is responsible, 19 year old Gabriel Isaiah Estrada, faces charges of falsely making a terrorist threat, disorderly conduct, intimidation of a minor, and harassment of a minor by electronic means.
Franklin County Sheriff Don Jones has publicly stated that Estrada is also a suspect in a variety of other crimes in the area and that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office will continue to conduct an investigation into those possible criminal relations to this suspect.
Police believe that Estrada may be responsible for multiple cyber crimes that have occurred over the past year originating from his location in Fort Walton Beach.
The school district in the area has been in fear ever since the threats began several months ago. Sesser-Valier District Superintendent Jason Henry issued the following statement:
"I am very grateful, but not surprised, to learn that the suspect in these cases is being brought to justice. The Sheriff's office has kept me apprised of the progress of the investigation over the last few months, and, to be clear, it has been grueling, detailed police work. The investigators who have worked this case are first-class professionals and deserve our highest praise and deepest thanks for their work on these cases.”
"I met with Sheriff Jones on January 18, 2017, and he gave me his word that he would see this case through, even if it meant that he had to send his officers to Florida to bring this perpetrator to justice. Ultimately, that's exactly what happened. Two lawmen from Franklin County, IL worked the case, followed up on leads, gathered information, and then traveled to Fort Walton Beach, Fla. earlier this week to arrest a dangerous perpetrator. Sheriff Jones delivered on his promise.”
"A case like this takes one thing to get right - individuals who step-up and do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time. Fortunately for SV196 kids, multiple individuals did just that - they stepped-up and did the right thing. Our country is better off because of individuals like this."
Sheriff Jones said that "a complex forensic computer and other electronic media investigation and has been ongoing for a number of months." He also said that in cooperation with a detective from the Benton Police Department. The Sheriff's Office traveled to Okaloosa County, Florida, to assist with the apprehension on serving of Estrada's arrest warrant.
Estrada is currently being detained in the Okaloosa County Jail, pending an extradition hearing.