Charges carry penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison

SAVANNAH, Ga. (CW69 News At 10) –  A St. Simons Island, Ga., man has been indicted in U.S. District Court on federal charges for allegedly threatening to blow up an IRS office in New York.

Benjamin Stasko, 32, is charged with Willful Threat to Kill Using Firearms or Explosives, and Interstate Transmission of a Threat to Injure, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charges carry a possible sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison, followed by a period of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

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“Threats against the safety and security of our nation’s government offices and their personnel are deadly serious, and our office will work with our law enforcement partners to find and prevent such perpetrators from carrying out their threats,” said U.S. Attorney Christine.

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A threat alleging that a pipe bomb had been planted in the Ted Weiss Federal Building in New York was found July 6, posted in a comment on a federal agency’s website and directed toward the Internal Revenue Service. Federal protective police officers with bomb sniffing dogs and officers from the New York Police Department searched the facility and found no explosives. Investigators later located and arrested Stasko in St. Simons.

Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, the New York Police Department and the Brunswick Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Bearden.