How to react when there is a bomb threat
A Laurel County man who allegedly threatened to blow up a store in London and posted a video of himself setting off a gunpowder explosion has been ordered held without bond until trial.
Stanley Wade Goforth said he posted the video on Facebook because he’d won $50 on a video gambling machine at a store but the owners refused to pay him, according to an affidavit in the case.
“If you like playing poker machines, and you see me coming into the (expletive) poker room, you gonna see something special so get the (expletive) out of there,” a court document quoted Goforth as saying on the video. “Cause I’m getting ready to end the illegal gambling in (expletive) London, Kentucky, baby.”
A federal grand jury indicted Goforth, 40, on one charge of using Facebook to make a threat to kill, injure or intimidate someone and blow up a building.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram said in a decision posted Monday that releasing Goforth before trial could endanger the public.
The case started after Goforth posted a video of himself on Aug. 15 setting off a small blast, according to a sworn statement from Glennis C. Taylor, a task-force officer with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Taylor said authorities investigated after a concerned citizen contacted Todd E. Tremaine, an ATF special agent, about a video on Facebook that allegedly made a threat.
A friend of the concerned citizen shot a video of the post, which police viewed.
The video showed a man setting off a small explosion.
“The subject male then turned the camera back to his face and states: ‘Huhhh. You all see that (expletive)? Coming to a (slur) store near you. Soon!’” Taylor said in his statement.
Detective Jesse Armstrong with the Kentucky State Police was able to identify the house shown in the video, and police got a warrant to search.
They found an electronic detonator, a can of black powder like that used in muzzle loading guns, electric wire and blast debris, according to Taylor’s affidavit.
Goforth admitted making the video and posting it, Taylor said.
Goforth told police he made the small explosive device using a Pepsi can safe — a metal can that looks like a soft-drink can and is used to hide valuables.
Goforth said he put gunpowder in the can, inserted a detonator that he had taken from a construction site years ago, wrapped it with tape and put it in a metal mailbox, connected wires to the detonator and used a battery to set off the blast, Taylor said.
Taylor said Goforth told police he made the video as a result of the incident in which a store wouldn’t pay his winnings on an illegal gambling machine.
Goforth said he had no intention of actually using an explosive device to hurt anyone, but “understood how it could be perceived as a threat,” Taylor wrote.
In his bond decision, Ingram said the video showed evidence of significant planning and an effort to convey a real threat.
“The court observes that the video portrays a very angry and serious individual,” Ingram wrote.
Ingram pointed to Goforth’s criminal history as another reason for detaining him. That includes charges of possessing an ingredient used to make methamphetamine, drug possession, drunken-driving, forgery, and violating probation.
Ingram also cited Goforth’s history of substance abuse.
Goforth acknowledged using meth daily for 20 years, but denied he is addicted to the drug — a denial Ingram described as “pure fantasy.”
“Releasing such an oblivious addict with the potential for danger graphically displayed by the video presents risks far too great . . .” the judge said.
Goforth faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.