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Feds: Teen's not being held under Patriot Act

Posted May 7, 2009
Updated May 8, 2009

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— The U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday a local mother's claim that her son is being held under the USA Patriot Act is incorrect.

Annette Lundeby told WRAL News on April 29 that her 16-year-old son, Ashton Lundeby, is being held at a juvenile facility in South Bend, Ind., on a criminal complaint that he made a bomb threat from his Oxford home on the night of Feb. 15.

Ashton Lundeby Feds dispute mom's claim

She said she believed authorities applied the Patriot Act to strip her son of his due process rights. She said she has had little access to him since his March 5 arrest.

Responding after nationwide media attention following the story, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana said in a news release that the charge is based on federal law prohibiting bomb and death threats.

"This charge is unrelated to the Patriot Act," U.S. Attorney David Capp said.

Capp and the FBI initially declined to talk about the case, citing a gag order and law that prohibits disclosure of information in federal cases involving juveniles.

But in Thursday's release, he said, the arrest stems from a false bomb threat directed at Purdue University and similar threats to other schools.

"The FBI, the Purdue University Police Department and the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's Office conducted an extensive investigation into this matter, resulting in that arrest," Capp said.

Annette Lundeby said Thursday afternoon she had assumed federal agents arrested her son under the Patriot Act based on jackets they wore that read "Terrorist Task Force" and because they have given her no information about the case.

She also said she has been trying for weeks to get information about the case and was "amazed" it took nationwide attention for the U.S. attorney to release it.

"They have had plenty of time to contact me, and they won't even return my calls, yet they contact the media?" Lundeby said.

In her initial WRAL News interview last month, she said told agents that someone hacked into her son's IP address and used his Internet phone account to make the alleged threats.

Investigators seized a computer, cell phone, gaming console and routers from her home, according to search warrants, but Lundeby said they found no bomb-making materials.

Not mentioning Ashton Lundeby by name, Capp also said the "juvenile" has been represented by counsel at each of his three court appearances and that his mother "has been apprised of each" and that he is being held in a facility that permits family visits.

Lundeby said Thursday she has not been made aware of any other court appearance other than his initial one in Raleigh, despite her "constant inquiries."

"I want to be there," she said.

Passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., the Patriot Act allows federal agents to investigate suspected cases of terrorism swiftly to better protect the country.

In part, it gives the federal government more latitude to search telephone records, e-mails and other records. Critics of the statute have argued that it threatens the most basic of liberties.


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  • NCSULandscaper May 8, 2009

    how do yall know that the kid is even guilty? God help this country if you people are on a jury

  • zeitghost May 8, 2009

    If there is sufficient cause to believe he communicated a bomb threat, it doesn't matter under which law, act, or statute he's being held...

  • Professor May 8, 2009

    the government is lying...

    Can you prove this?

  • Professor May 8, 2009

    With this - more teens will be committing more crimes. What is this world coming too.

  • Nonewsisgoodnews May 8, 2009

    If you guys couldn't tell from the fact that "Tyrone" has an easily traceable paypal account tied into his credit card/bank account receiving money from those at the bomb threat schools, that his mom had seen evidence that he made prank bomb threats, and that the skype account running off his router with his account that he uses for personal use as well with logs of its activities that even he checks, it seems pretty easy to determine that its unlikely he was "hacked". Its not likely the feds did not think to check the computer itself after the router was tracked either.

    I'd bet that there was multiple forms of digital proof in many forms for even the Purdue call. The people claiming that he was probably a scapegoat need to look at the proof on both sides. I don't see any actual evidence that might even give a shadow of a doubt, there is a mountain of evidence against this young criminal.

  • panthers254 May 8, 2009

    a whole band of fed goons armed to the max is probably a bit much for a computer geek who probably couldnt beat up an eleven year old girl.

  • webberx101 May 8, 2009

    the government is lying...

  • iwasjustsaying May 8, 2009

    Okay, from dealing with this lady on a professional basis...this lady is not all there. Very strange person...and she is widowed..and each time you talk to her she reminds you. Don't know much about her kids, but I feel sorry for them.

  • thepeopleschamp May 8, 2009

    A big "I told you so" to those that critisized my comments when this article came out. I made mention that the ONLY person saying this was a Patriot Act issue was a distraught mother and NO ONE from law enforcement. But the same people that see black helicopters following them jumped to conclusions crying how unfair the FBI was, comparing them to Nazi stormtroopers. To those goloer's...I told you so.

  • Nancy May 8, 2009

    The woman intentionally flamed HER version to get attention:

    The boy’s mother, Annette Lundeby, has even acknowledged in interviews that her son has been formally charged, has a court-appointed attorney, and has already made appearances in front of a judge. No military tribunals here. On Alex Jones, Lundeby seemed to more-or-less admit that the USA PATRIOT connection was something she dreamed up on her own.

    Jones: And they said they are charging him under the Patriot Act, so –

    Lundeby: They’re not saying that, but that’s exactly what they’re doing.

    Jones: Well, it’s in the newspaper.

    Lundeby: All their actions point towards that. But they don’t deny it either.