Polk County Sheriff’s School Resource deputies and detectives arrested an 18-year-old and a 14-year-old student from George Jenkins High School after their investigation revealed that the students sent threatening emails to 4 different faculty members.
On September 6, 2007, the faculty members, who included a secretary, a librarian, a teacher, and the dean of students, received emails with various threats contained in them, stating either that a bomb was inside the school and was going to detonate that day, and/ or there was a person in the school with guns who would harm them. The school was immediately evacuated that morning upon receipt of the emails, and a Sheriff’s K-9 team searched the school for any explosive devices, but did not find any.
After a computer forensics detective was able to trace the emails, he and another detective interviewed the two suspects, Brandon Sidney Johnson, DOB 3/21/89, of 3109 Crystal Hills Loop South in Lakeland, and his cousin Juanicia Tylea Jones, DOB 2/3/91, of 2920 Ellis Avenue in Lakeland. Both suspects admitted post-Miranda that they sent the emails in an effort to get out of school that day, but that neither had any intention of following through with the threats.
Johnson admitted to sending three emails and Jones admitting sending one. Each has been charged with felony charges: one count False Report of a Bomb or Explosive, and one count Written Threat to Kill or Injure. Johnson was booked into the Polk County Jail today and Jones was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
Sheriff Grady Judd reminds parents and children, “Threatening to hurt any faculty member or student within a school is a felony crime, and doing so guarantees that you will be caught and arrested. We take any threat within a school very seriously, and we will not rest until those responsible are caught. Thanks to our great relationship with the Polk County School Board, and our deputies who do an outstanding job working as a team every day, we were able to bring about a quick resolution to this case.”