1 Arrest in Alleged Vegas Bomb Threat Plot: Sheriff

Police allege that a Simi Valley 18-year-old used "sophisticated devices" to disguise his voice and location.

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Ventura County Sheriff
    Zachary Jackson

    Despite previous reports of two teens being arrested in an alleged extortion plot involving multiple Las Vegas casinos, authorities said Friday that only one person has been arrested so far.

    Zachary Jackson, 18, was arrested Wednesday at a Simi Valley residence on suspicion of disguising his voice and making bomb threats to hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

    Earlier reports indicated that a 16-year-old was also arrested. Ventura Sheriff Capt. Mike Aranda said Friday that the teen was detained and then released. He added the investigation is still on-going and more arrests may be made in the future.

    Simi Valley Teen Arrested for Threatening to Blow Up Vegas Casinos

    [LA] Simi Valley Teen Arrested  for Threatening to Blow Up Vegas Casinos
    Zachary Jackson was arrested and charged with attempted extortion and making false bomb threats for calls he made to muliple Vegas casinos.

    Police allege Jackson made threats to multiple casinos between July 28 and Aug. 8. The Ventura County Sheriff's Department confirmed Friday that there were at least 10 incidents.

    "The caller appeared to be disguising his voice and was demanding large amounts of money. He threatened to detonate the bombs and destroy the properties if the victims did not meet his demands," according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

    Las Vegas police spokesman Jay Rivera would not say how much money was demanded; or which casinos had been threatened.

    "We don't want to encourage copycats," he told the Associated Press. "This is a very important part to the state of Nevada. We don't want anyone to gather any knowledge of how they might make these kinds of threats."

    Neighbors described a "strong law enforcement" presence on the day of the arrest, with about two dozen officers dressed in riot gear, weapons-drawn outside the apartment.  One neighbor said the early morning arrest was frightening - with police yelling to for the residents to open the door - and even using a battering ram.

    After the arrests, the mother told neighbors "the extent of the problem was making prank phone calls."  By Friday, the seriousness of the charges was apparent, as the mother said she was "surprised and devastated."    

    Ventura County Sheriff's Department Captain Mike Aranda said these calls were taken very seriously and that any threat invovling explosions is regarded as domestic terrorism.

    Authorities said they recovered "sophisticated devices" from the suspect's home, which may help identify new incidents and victims. No bombs were found at the home, said Vegas police Lt. Greg Damari.

    Jackson was being held at the Ventura County jail. Bail was set at $50,000. A court hearing scheduled for Friday was delayed.

    Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: Twitter: @NBCLA // Facebook: NBCLA