Oxford teen indicted on federal bomb threat charges
Posted July 9, 2009 8:07 a.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2009 12:50 p.m. EDT
HAMMOND, Ind. — A federal judge says a teen can be charged as an adult after authorities say he used the Internet to make fake bomb threats to schools nationwide, including Indiana.
A three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges Ashton Lundeby, 16, of Oxford, and unnamed co-conspirators allowed Web gamers to pay fees to listen to and observe police responses to bomb threats at Purdue University and other schools, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Clemson University and Florida State University.
The indictment alleges that Lundeby, who went by the name Tyrone, and other conspirators would place calls to locations covered by webcams and then broadcast the video live to as many as 300 subscribers.
"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," David Capp, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, said in a statement to WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, Ind.
FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Lundeby at his home on March 5, and he has been detained in St. Joseph County's Juvenile Justice Center since then.
The case had been sealed, because Lundeby is a juvenile. He will be arraigned Friday.
His mother, Annette Lundeby, maintains that he was at church the night of Feb. 15 when several threats were called into Purdue University.
She has acknowledged that her son made prank phone calls on the Internet and charged a fee but that her son never did anything illegal, to her knowledge. She has said she believes he was framed after he refused to call in a bomb threat to a high school in Australia.
Annette Lundeby could not be reached for comment Thursday but told The Henderson Dispatch that she found out about the indictment from the news media and that "outraged is not the word" to describe her reaction.
"We're fighting it all the way to the Supreme Court," she told the paper. "It's going to be our time to swing."