The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Clovis man accused in bomb scare

Courthouse incident intended to delay hearing, records show.

 


CLOVIS — Almost six months after a bomb scare that evacuated the Curry County Courthouse, police last week arrested a Clovis man accused of calling in the bogus threat and planting a suspicious package in order to delay a woman’s sentencing that morning.

Jeremy Cook, 36, was arrested Thursday and charged with “making a bomb scare,” a fourth-degree felony. Over the course of several weeks subsequent to the two-part Jan. 26 incident, investigators narrowed in on Cook through forensic analysis of cell phone and social media accounts, according to a criminal complaint filed June 28 in magistrate court.

Within two weeks of the hoax, investigator Matt Whittington traced the number that had placed the initial 10:33 a.m. bomb threat at the district court clerk’s office to a Verizon phone that had been missing since late December last year. That number was also linked to a Facebook account with the name “Hill Billy (Jeremy cook).” Upon receiving a search warrant for the account’s records, investigators cross-referenced numbers shared in the account messages with calls placed in January from the suspect phone, records show.

Cook was arrested March 17 for receiving stolen property, and in ensuing police interviews “said that he knew nothing about the bomb threat, but that he knew he was probably going to get charged,” according the complaint. He said he did not know who had the phone on Jan. 26, and “that someone else stole the phone so it wasn’t stolen when it was given to him.”

There were few documented updates on the case since then, save for inconclusive DNA and fingerprint analysis of the “suspicious package,” which turned out to be a cardboard box containing a brick with a broken cell phone taped to the outside.

Ultimately, it was an anonymous tip June 18 through Crime Stoppers that pointed the finger most recently at Cook, claiming he orchestrated the threat to delay a woman’s 10:30 a.m. plea conference that morning.

That woman attended her plea conference, though a few minutes late. It carried on as scheduled, according to court records, since the evacuation and response from Clovis first responders and Cannon Air Force Base’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal team did not start until a suspicious package was reported hours later around 2 p.m.

Officials remained on scene that day for more than four hours more, with a two-block perimeter closed off near downtown Clovis.

The woman has not been charged with any crimes in relation to the incident.

Jail security footage found an individual walked quickly around the law library (where the package was found) at 10:22 a.m., only a few minutes before the initial threat.

Cook was conditionally appointed a public defender, but a specific attorney was not yet listed Friday. He remained this weekend without bond in the Curry County Detention Center and is scheduled for a court hearing July 26.

 

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