Gavel in front of legal person writing. (Provided by Ekaterina Bolovtsova via Pexels.com for the Daily Montanan)
A New Mexico woman is facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after admitting to phoning in a threat to a May 8 fundraiser hosted by the Montana Trappers Association.
Dora Sandra Gomez, 64, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to interstate communication of a threat on Dec. 15, the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Montana announced.
According to court documents in the case, about 130 people attended the MTA fundraiser at the Frontier Event Center in Dillon on May 8. During the fundraiser, authorities said a caller phoned the event from a blocked number around 7:30 p.m. and said: “She and her boyfriend were aware of the MTA banquet and that they didn’t like the organization” and allegedly said a bomb that could be triggered by a cell phone was placed inside the banquet hall.
Gomez denied ever using the word “bomb” or the phrase “explosive device,” but the two parties agreed that Gomez intended to communicate a threat with her statement, “people who hate trappers are coming, and someone will get hurt,” according to the release.
Dillon Police Department Officers evacuated the building and notified the FBI, which sent a team from Helena to search the building with a bomb-sniffing dog. Ultimately, no explosives were found, according to the press release.
At the time of the threat, the trappers association characterized the incident as “domestic terrorism.”
“We will not be intimidated, shaken or silenced by those who would attempt to do harm or terrorize us because they do not agree with or accept those rights relevant to this organization, and we will pursue all legal avenues against those who may choose to inflict harm,” the association said in an earlier statement about the incident.
The association would not comment on Gomez’s guilty plea when reached by phone.
While Gomez did admit to making the call, she told authorities that she did it because her ex-boyfriend was at the fundraiser, and she “wanted to ruin his evening,” according to the release.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 30.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.