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Woman Indicted in Bomb Threats

October 02, 2003|Stanley Allison | Times Staff Writer

A Santa Ana woman was indicted Wednesday on charges of making two fake bomb threats at her employer's offices, one when President Bush was scheduled to make an appearance next door at the Irvine Hyatt Regency.

A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Patricia Rose Talavera for making bomb threats against Geneva Companies, where she worked as a clerk, and making false statements to the FBI.

Talavera, 24, allegedly called from an office phone and left the threats on the company's voice-mail system. The first, made July 9, warned that, "There is a bomb in the stairwell between the 18th and 19th floors. Once the doors are released, then everyone has 15 minutes to evacuate."

Officials at the investment banking company evacuated the offices and building security searched for a bomb without result.

The second threat, Aug. 15, was allegedly made a few hours before President Bush was scheduled to be at the hotel, which is next to the Geneva building.

Prosecutors say the caller said, "I think it would be pretty cool to see the president's face when I blow up three buildings like the terrorist attacks ... I think now would be a great time to just have bodies flying everywhere, dead."

The second threat also led to an evacuation as well as the deployment of the Sheriff's Department bomb squad, the FBI and Secret Service. Nothing was found.

Talavera was one of about 10 people interviewed by investigators based on the time of the calls, who was in the building at the time, and reports from employees who said it sounded like her, said Asst. U.S. Atty. Robert Keenan.

After a second interview, Talavera allegedly admitted making the threats, Keenan said.

He said Talavera told investigators that she made the first threat because she was frustrated with a supervisor who was favoring other employees, and wanted to disrupt things for the day.

The second threat was allegedly made because she "was feeling sick that day and didn't want to come to work," Keenan said. She apparently had been given two warnings for absences and didn't want to be terminated, he added.

Talavera is expected to surrender to federal authorities and make an initial court appearance today. If convicted, she faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in federal prison on each count.

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