Citrus County Detention Facility (File)

The Citrus County Detention Facility.

A 16-year-old juvenile threatened to bomb the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and the Citrus County Jail, while demanding $3 million from authorities Wednesday, March 31, according to a CCSO arrest affidavit.

The juvenile, who was already incarcerated as an adult at the Cypress Creek Juvenile Detention Facility, was charged with two counts of false report of planting a bomb. Bond was set at $10,000. The Chronicle is withholding the teen's name due to his age.

According to the report, the defendant made the phone call to the CCSO non-emergency phone line from the detention facility. The defendant reportedly stated, “I am going to bomb the Citrus County Sheriff’s Police Office and the Citrus County Jail.” This threat was repeated several times. The juvenile also demanded that $3 million be placed in his account in West Virginia.

Deputies conducted a search of the Paytel jail phone calls made during the time of the threat, but were unable to locate any calls to the CCSO. Deputies contacted a CoreCivic investigator, who then contacted Paytel support services. Paytel was reportedly able to determine the origin of the phone call.

Paytel discovered the call originated in the confinement pod of the Citrus County Jail. Authorities identified two PIN numbers used, one assigned to an eyewitness who shared a pod with the defendant. Two eyewitnesses were assigned to the same cell in the confinement pod.

Deputies first interviewed the first witness, who the report stated, provided his telephone PIN number to the defendant. Paytel records show that a phone call was made using their PIN number, but it was not completed.

The eyewitness alleged that the defendant was using the telephone, but that he typed in the PIN number to prevent the defendant from learning it. A different PIN was later used to make the bomb threat and video surveillance shows the defendant using the telephone at the time of the incident.

Deputies conducted an interview with an additional eyewitness, who initially denied any knowledge of the incident, according to the report. Later, the witness admitted to knowledge of the bomb threat and identified the defendant as the person who made the call.

A third eyewitness also denied any knowledge of the incident, but video surveillance reportedly showed him standing next to the defendant at the time of the call.

Post Miranda, deputies then conducted an interview with the defendant. The juvenile reportedly denied making the phone call, but admitted to making phone calls in his cell on the day in question. He claimed that whoever’s PIN was used is who made the bomb threat.

The PIN number used was reportedly registered to a subject housed in a different section of the jail. Records indicate that person has not been housed in the confinement area since 2019.

The defendant was placed under arrest and was turned over to detention facility staff for processing.

Hannah is a reporter for the Chronicle. She can be reached at 352-564-2929 or email hannah.sachewicz@chronicleonline.com.

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