Woman accused of making bomb threats against elementary schools

Woman accused of making bomb threats against elementary schools
Jenelle Pinkston

ALBANY, Ore. - A woman faces federal charges she phoned in bomb threats to elementary schools in Albany this spring.

FBI agents arrested Jenelle Pinkston, 45, on Wednesday. She is charged with one count of threatened use of a destructive device.

If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Pinkston appeared before Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Coffin on Wednesday. He ordered Pinkston held in the Lane County Jail pending further court proceedings.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators allege that Pinkston made one call on April 16, 2013, to Waverly Elementary School, threatening that a bomb would explode in 10 minutes.

Investigators said Pinkston made two calls on May 23, 2013: another call to Waverly Elementary School and one to Periwinkle Elementary School.

In all cases, administrators evacuated the schools, but no devices were ever found.

Albany Police Department and Albany Fire Department responded to all incidents and expended significant resources in determining that the schools were safe for the students to return, prosecutors said.

Albany Police Department initially determined the phone that was used in the threats, traced that phone’s ownership and use, and arrested Pinkston on local charges of coercion, disorderly conduct and tampering with evidence.