Law enforcement across Blaine County is still buzzing after last week’s nearly synchronized school bomb threats.
On Friday, the Fort Belknap Police Department arrested one suspect in association with the threat, a juvenile allegedly responsible for the threat called into Hays-Lodge Pole Schools.
Jeff Stiffarm, Fort Belknap police chief, couldn’t offer any more details about the suspect this morning, but did say they had video surveillance and eyewitnesses to back up the charges they filed.
He also said they have an FBI assistant on the case.
Off the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, the investigation is still ongoing.
A deputy from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office said this morning that they do have a few suspects in a similiar bomb threat called into Harlem schools, but they need to conduct a few more interviews before they take more serious action.
Assuming those interviews go well, charges could be filed by the end of the week, sheriff’s department spokesman said.
The whole situation began last Thursday morning, when a note was found in a bathroom at Harlem Elementary School, claiming that a bomb would detonate in the school at 11 a. m.
Emergency responders came in to help from Chinook, Harlem, Turner, Hogeland and Fort Belknap.
An explosive disposal unit also was called in from Malmstrom Air Force Base, east of Great Falls, to inspect the area.
Students were evacuated from their classrooms, moving to new, more distant, locations while the building was searched until they were all sent home around 1:30 p. m.
Blaine County Commissioner Vic Miller said in a press release on Thursday afternoon that other threats had been called into other area schools, including Rocky Boy and Hays-Lodge Pole schools.
Rocky Boy Schools’ Superintendent Voyd St. Pierre said he hadn’t heard of any such threat on Thursday. But officials at Hays-Lodge Pole had received a threat.
The quick response of area law enforcement, including the next-day arrest made by Fort Belknap police, reinforce the seriousness of the situation and how the governments will handle it.
“Indications are that once the investigation is done, felony charges of intimidation can be and will be filed, Miller said. “Responsibility of juvenile behavior is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. ”