threat temporarily closes
Express Staff Writer
Memorial Airport in Hailey was closed for half an hour Thursday following
a bomb threat made over the phone by a jail inmate in Montgomery, Ala.,
who had recently been convicted of making threats against the president.
The bomb threat appears to have been a hoax.
Aviation employee Cory Anderson said he received a collect call about 4:10
p.m., for which he declined to accept the charges. However, he said, he
heard a voice say, "There’s a bomb on the field" before the
line went dead. Anderson said he received four more collect calls during
the next few minutes, and tried to accept them but was cut off each time.
Police Chief Brian McNary said the Sun Valley Aviation offices and the
airport terminal were evacuated at about 5 p.m. while three Hailey police
officers and National Guardsmen searched them. When no bomb was found, the
airport resumed operations at about 5:30 p.m.
for Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines said the closure did not affect their
flights, though a SkyWest bus headed to the Twin Falls airport was delayed
for about half an hour.
said he received two more collect calls later that evening and was able to
talk to the caller at about 7 p.m. He said the caller identified himself
as Jason Cates, and told him a bomb was going to be placed on the first
Horizon Air flight to arrive at the airport Friday morning.
was coming across not as a threat, but as if he was trying to tell us that
as a warning," Anderson said.
said, the caller then told him that "if all the prisoners of the
Mongomery, Alabama, jail weren’t released, there would be more
the call was traced to a pay phone at the Montgomery City Jail.
Plylar, supervisory deputy at the U.S. Marshal’s Office in Montgomery,
said Cates is a federal inmate at the jail awaiting sentencing.
to the clerk of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of
Alabama, Cates was convicted last June of the federal crime of using
interstate communication to make threats against the president.
Cates obtained the Hailey airport’s number from tourism brochures. He
said investigation of the bomb threats has been turned over to the FBI.