Indictment says teen made bomb threats through Internet conference calls

The 16-year-old from Oxford, N.C., arrested this spring after bomb threats were were made to numerous colleges will be tried as an adult in federal court.

Ashton Lundeby, whose case became a sensation among bloggers and others after his mother's false claims that he was being detained under the Patriot Act, has been charged with conspiring to make bomb threats at Purdue University in Indiana and numerous other schools, including a Feb. 15 threat to UNC-Chapel Hill.

Lundeby was arrested March 5 at his home in Oxford.

Since then, his mother, Annette, has said repeatedly that he was being held as a domestic terrorist under the Patriot Act. Bloggers and others latched on to the case as the latest proof of totalitarian government running roughshod over its people.

In May, though, federal prosecutors tried to clear up the misconceptions. David Capp, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, issued a statement that elaborated on the charge filed against the juvenile in the bomb-threat case. Ashton's name was not mentioned because in federal court, anyone younger than 18 is considered a juvenile and the case is sealed.

The three-count federal indictment came after prosecutors sought to try Lundeby as an adult. The U.S. District Court in South Bend, Ind., granted the motion.

The indictments, issued by the federal grand jury allege an extensive conspiracy involving Lundeby and others who were not named.

Prosecutors say they transmitted bomb threats over the Internet with Lundeby often using "Tyrone" as a pseudonym. Through elaborate computer routings, the conspirators are accused of setting up large-scale conference calls over the Internet so participants could listen to the threats and watch live as law enforcement officers responded.

In addition to Purdue University and UNC-CH, prosecutors say threats went to Florida State University, Clemson University, Boston College and FBI offices in Pueblo, Colo., and Monroe, La.

The indictment also alleges that for a nominal fee the conspirators offered to make bomb threat calls, often to high schools, to close the schools.