Man charged with making Stafford school bomb threat arrested in Fredericksburg
From Fredericksburg Police:
Sergeant Ben Johnson assigned to the Fredericksburg Police Department Detective Division led an in-depth investigation into a 911 robo caller who made numerous calls, sometimes back-to-back, reporting gun violence at various locations in the City of Fredericksburg. The investigation led to the arrest of 35-year-old James Hash II of Fredericksburg, who was making false reports to law enforcement agencies throughout the Commonwealth.
Detectives began interviewing City residents the robo caller was targeting and looking into known suspects with a past pattern of this behavior. They began researching the disconnected cellular device and the cell towers connected to these calls. Through their investigation, detectives learned the suspect’s device was used approximately 30 times between April and August to report false incidents. The caller disguised his voice using a Text-To-Speech (TTS) program and played the recording to 911 over the disconnected cellular device.
One of these calls was on July 11th, when a multi-jurisdictional bomb threat was made, stating bombs were placed in multiple courthouses in Virginia, including the City of Fredericksburg Court Complex located at 701 Princess Anne St.
Detectives pulled data from surrounding cellular communications towers through search warrants to identify the suspect. During this investigation, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office opened its own investigation after receiving threats to school properties in their jurisdiction. The Fredericksburg Police Department and the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office began working together to share information and develop a suspect.
Fredericksburg Crime Analyst Debbie Marrs researched and ultimately identified James Hash II as the person making the 911 robo calls to the Fredericksburg E-911 Communication Center and other jurisdictions in northern Virginia.
On September 13th, in a combined effort, Detectives from Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and Fredericksburg City Police, detained Mr. Hash. A search warrant was completed on his residence in the City of Fredericksburg where the devices he used were located, confirmed by serial number, and seized as evidence. Ultimately, Hash was charged with his crimes in Stafford County and transported to the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.
On September 14th, the Fredericksburg Detectives consulted with the Fredericksburg Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and charged Hash with Threats on School Property (Felony), Threats to Bomb or Burn a building (Felony), and five counts of Falsely Summoning Police (Misdemeanor). Mr. Hash was served these warrants last night.
These robo calls used many law enforcement resources over the past five months. The Fredericksburg Police Department responded to every call with a significant presence due to the severe allegations, only to find that they were fake. The Fredericksburg Police Department is relieved Hash will no longer victimize City residents and waste valuable resources.
Hash is not responsible for the threats made to James Monroe High School over the last week. The Fredericksburg Police Department is still actively investigating those threats.