Man Charged in|Refinery Bomb Threats

     CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CN) – Federal agents arrested a 26-year-old man on charges of soliciting a friend to call in bomb threats to a Valero oil refinery.
     Erasmo Luna, of Robstown, surrendered to FBI agents who searched his home Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
     A Corpus Christi grand jury indicted him on April 25 on two counts of solicitation to commit a violent crime, prosecutors said.
     “These counts allege that on two separate dates Luna solicited, commanded, induced and persuaded another person to convey a threat to damage or destroy one or more buildings owned by Valero Refining in Corpus Christi,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in its statement.
     Prosecutors said the caller was 19-year-old Jose Padilla of Robstown, who has pleaded guilty for the bomb threats.
     “In the course of his guilty plea, Padilla admitted that at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2011, using a telephone he relayed to an individual at the Valero Refinery that ‘there’s a bomb in complex six,'” prosecutors said.
     “Padilla also acknowledged he called the refinery a second time at 3:20 p.m. and again six minutes later at 3:26 p.m. Padilla reported ‘there’s a bomb in complex six and seven.’
     “At 6:08 a.m. on Oct. 28, 2011, Padilla admitted to again calling the Valero Refinery and claiming ‘there’s a bomb in complex six. It’s going to blow up between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m.’
     “When the Valero employee tried to ask him a question about the bomb he replied with profanity and added that the ‘bomb is going to go and you need to clear complex six.’ In response to the threats Valero security, law enforcement personnel and bomb detection dogs were dispatched.”
     If convicted, Luna faces up to 5 years in federal prison and a $125,000 on each count.
     Robstown is 10 miles west of Corpus Christi.

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