LANSING, Mich. — Michael Varrone, a 49-year-old man from Charlotte, will spend a year in jail after calling in a bogus bomb threat against the Michigan Capitol.
According to the Michigan attorney general’s office, on Dec. 12, Varrone called the Michigan House of Representatives six times and threatened Rep. Cynthia Johnson and her family members over the phone.
Then on Jan. 7, he called the control operator at the Capitol complex saying everyone inside the building needed to evacuate because the Capitol was going to explode.
A sweep of the building by Michigan State Police determined that there was no real threat.
“Threatening the lives and safety of our elected officials and innocent bystanders is deplorable,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “We treat every instance as a serious threat and will prosecute those who perpetrate such crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”
In January, Varrone was charged with two counts of a false report or threat of terrorism, which is a 20-year felony, and one count of a false report or threat of a bomb, which comes with a four-year felony.
In June, Varrone pleaded guilty to a false report or threat of a bomb. As part of his punishment, Varrone will undergo mental health treatment and will spend a year in the Ingham County jail with no possibility of early release. He will also do three years of probation.
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