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Sunmount patient charged with making bomb threat

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AKWESASNE - St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police arrested a 20-year-old Sunmount client on Thursday following an investigation into a Sunday threat that a bomb had placed inside the tribal council building.

Charles J. Billings of Hogansburg is facing a felony count of making a terrorist threat. He was arraigned in Bombay Town Court by Justice Curtis Smith, who sent him to the Franklin County Jail without bail. Billings was later turned over to the custody of Sunmount in Tupper Lake.

“He still has a right to a preliminary hearing,” tribal police Captain Matt Rourke said. “If it’s going to be waived or not, that’s undetermined right now.”

According to a statement released by tribal police earlier in the week, a man called tribal police at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday and claimed he placed a bomb in the Tribal Council building. Officers searched the facility with state police dogs for about a half hour and did not find anything.

On Monday, tribal police Chief Andy Thomas said the threat could be accurately classified as a prank. On Thursday, Mr. Rourke would not comment on the motive beyond that police treated it seriously, regardless of the suspect’s intentions.

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