2 Deschutes courthouse hoax bomb suspects face federal charges

DA dismisses state charges, defers to feds

BEND, Ore. - (Update: Adding federal charges)

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said Friday federal charges have been filed against two of the three suspects charged in connection with the recent hoax bomb incident that closed the county courthouse, so he's dismissed state charges. 

Hummel said he dismissed the local charges against Kellie Kent Cameron, 31, and Jonathan Tyler Allen, 23, because Billy Williams, the U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, filed charges against them in federal court. 

The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed a federal criminal complaint was unsealed Friday charging the Bend pair in the July 29 hoax bomb threat. Cameron and Allen were charged with conspiracy to make a threat regarding explosive materials in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 844(e) and (n) and false information and hoaxes in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1038.

“I appreciate the strong working relationship local law enforcement has always had with the FBI and United States Attorney Williams," Hummel said in a statement. "We always work collaboratively on cases with a federal nexus and decide after a thorough investigation which jurisdiction should ultimately handle the matter. We all agreed that the alleged actions of these suspects warranted resolution in federal court, and this is why I dismissed the local charges.”     

"The investigation into this incident was an impressive show of the skill and dedication of our local law enforcement community," the DA's statement added. Several agencies "devoted hundreds of hours into identifying and arresting these suspects and their yeoman work was exemplary."

Cameron and Allen were arrested in a northeast Bend traffic stop last Saturday. A third suspect, William Earl Swanson 40, was arrested Thursday afternoon east of Bend. 

Bend officers contacted Swanson in the 21500 block of East Stem Place, off Hamby Road, around 1:20 p.m. Thursday in the Monday, July 29 threat that forced closure of the courthouse, evacuation of the area and downtown Bend street closures, Sgt. Robert Jones said.

Swanson was booked into the Deschutes County Jail Thursday night on charges of possession of a hoax device, first-degree disorderly conduct and criminal conspiracy. He was held on $12,500 bail.

Asked if the charges against Swanson also will be deferred to federal ones, Hummel told NewsChannel 21, “In every case that has a potential federal nexus, we’ll consider whether federal charges potentially are appropriate."

“When we decide that federal charges are potentially appropriate, we’ll reach out to the United States attorney to discuss the matter with his team,” he said.   

Cameron and Allen were arrested in a traffic stop last Saturday evening in the parking lot of Timbers East Bar & Grill. They were arrested on the same charges, as well as methamphetamine possession.

Details of each alleged participant’s role have not been disclosed, but Jones said the 10-day multi-agency investigation involved the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond police, the Oregon State Police Explosives unit and the FBI.

“Hundreds of hours were devoted to following up on tips, reviewing surveillance videos, scouring through cell phone records, conducting numerous interviews and executing multiple search warrants,” Jones wrote.

“The Bend Police Department would like to thank all of the assisting agencies and public for their assistance during this intensive investigation,” he added.

Swanson was arrested April 17 as an alleged drugged driver who was clocked at 76 mph and refused to pull over, during a crackdown on speeders near the Powell Butte Highway-Neff Road intersection.

New charges of second-degree theft, second-degree forgery, ID theft and felon in possession of a firearm were filed Thursday against Allen, Swanson and Lee Bryon Gummus, 46.

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