Teen Charged In Internet Bomb Threat Case

    July 9, 2009

A 16-year old North Carolina teen has been indicted by federal prosecutors on three counts for his role in making false bomb threats via the Internet to Purdue University and a number of other colleges and high schools around the country.

The FBI arrested Ashton Lundeby, at his home in Oxford, North Carolina on March 6, 2009 and he has been detained and remains in federal custody.

David Capp
David Capp

U.S. attorney David Capp, of the Northern District of Indiana, filed a motion to prosecute Lundeby as an adult and a federal judge granted that motion.

The indictment alleges an extensive conspiracy involving Lundeby and unnamed other individuals to transmit bomb threats via the Internet. Lundeby, often using the pseudonym "Tyrone," and his co-conspirators used Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software to set up large-scale conference calls on the Internet.

In addition, online computer gaming accounts were used so participants could listen and watch the police response in real-time. Lundeby and his associates charged fees to listen and observe. They also used other software to disguise their identities and the origins of the calls.

Lundeby and others would often target institutions that used Web-based surveillance cameras. They would log into those cameras, call in a bomb threat, and watch the police response in real-time.

The indictment also alleges "that as part of the conspiracy conspirators offered, for a nominal fee, to make bomb threat calls – often to high schools – to cause closures."

"This type of activity on the Internet will not be tolerated. No matter where you are located, conduct like this will be thoroughly investigated and, where appropriate, presented for indictment," said U.S. Attorney Capp.

Lundeby will be arraigned before Magistrate Judge Nuechterlein on Friday, July 10. The specific sentence in each case to be imposed upon conviction will be determined by the judge.