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• Juvenile arrested in SMS bomb threat hoax

SILSBEE (February 9, 2017) – Three juveniles were questioned and later one was arrested following a bomb threat call to Edwards-Johnson Memorial Silsbee Middle School during the early morning hours on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

According to Silsbee Police Chief Waylan Rhodes, Silsbee police responded to the call at 7:25 a.m., and immediately began to evacuate and search the campus.

Silsbee ISD police resource officer Ben Hawthorne, the Silsbee Police Department and the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department aided the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Beaumont division in the investigation that began immediately following the call.

During the investigation, the phone call made to the campus was traced by authorities, and it was later found to be a cell phone coming from Orange, Texas.

A 13-year-old juvenile was in possession of the alleged cell phone used to make the call, and the suspect later confessed to making the phone call during questioning, Rhodes said.

Silsbee Middle School administrators worked diligently following the threat to ensure the safety of the students that had been in the school at the time.

Law enforcement officers, ATF agents and emergency personnel investigated the campus to rule out danger before faculty and students were given clearance to return to the campus.

Silsbee ISD Superintendent Richard Bain was on-site to ensure the safety of students, who remained away from the campus as authorities investigated the premises.

“Calling in a bomb threat is serious and not a game,” Chief Rhodes said. “All of these boys are finding out how serious of a game they played.

A warrant was issued to arrest the 13-year-old juvenile in Orange on Thursday morning, where he was charged with false alarm or report, a state jail felony.

“I commend the middle school administration and staff for an efficient evacuation of the building as buses and parents were dropping off students,” Bain said. “Also, a huge thanks goes to the Silsbee Police Department and Hardin County Sheriff’s Department for a swift response to ensure the safety of our students.”