An Oklahoma-based truck driver has been arrested and accused of making multiple threatening phone calls to schools in the Los Angeles area.
Blackwell, Oklahoma resident and truck driver Marcus James Buchanan, 44, was arrested on June 1 and charged with one count of making a threat through interstate commerce to damage or destroy buildings by fire or explosives.
Buchanan, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, is accused of phoning in bomb threats to multiple Los Angeles schools, including two elementary schools, and also threatening to shoot the children as they exited one of the elementary schools.
According to an FBI affidavit, Buchanan’s girlfriend told agents that he “is employed as a long-haul trucker and is often on the road for weeks at a time” and that she believes that he “makes most of these threatening phone calls while driving his truck, but has also heard him make similar calls from the Oklahoma residence.”
Authorities say that during a period of less than two hours on February 28, Buchanan called in bomb threats to two elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school in Los Angeles.
Additionally, on April 27 and 28, Buchanan reportedly called in two additional bomb threats to schools he had previously threatened and also threatened to shoot students.
From a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Central District of California:
On the afternoon of April 27, Buchanan called an elementary school and said to a school employee, “There is a bomb at your school and we will shoot the kids when they get out of the school. That is what you get for not accepting me in ’86,” according to the affidavit. When the employee asked who was calling, Buchanan allegedly responded, “If you try to find out, I will shoot you.” After receiving the threat, the school staff notified police and placed the school on lockdown. Police searched the campus for explosives or unusual items but found none.
On April 28, Buchanan allegedly called the same school again and said there was a pipe bomb placed at the school’s address. After receiving the bomb threat, the school staff notified police and placed the school on lockdown. Police searched the campus for explosives or unusual items but found none.
That same day, Buchanan allegedly called a different elementary school and said, “Stop playing games you know who this is. I am going to shoot the school. I know the kids are there.” Afterwards, the school was placed on lockdown, but – as with all the incidents – no explosives or unusual items were found.
Phone records indicated that the threatening calls came from a number identified with Buchanan, the affidavit states.
Buchanan’s girlfriend told the FBI that he makes the threats because some or all of the schools he threatens did not accept him for academic or other reasons when he was younger and living in the Los Angeles area.
If convicted, Buchanan faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.