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Oklahoma trucker charged with making bomb threats to five LA schools

A long-haul truck driver allegedly called in threats from the road, prompting schools to lock down.

LOS ANGELES (CN) — An Oklahoma truck driver was charged with threatening to bomb five Los Angeles schools, including two elementary schools, and threatening to shoot students when they were to come outside.

Marcus James Buchanan, 44, of Blackwell, Oklahoma, was arrested on Wednesday, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in LA. He faces up to 10 years in prison for threatening to blow up buildings.

Buchanan grew up in LA and allegedly made at least some of the threats because he thought the schools had rejected him. On one call to an elementary school, he told a school employee, "That is what you get for not accepting me in ’86.” When the employee asked who he was, Buchanan allegedly responded, “if you try to find out, I will shoot you.”

Buchanan had started making threatening calls to one of the schools as early as 2020, and some of the employees knew his voice, according to an FBI affidavit filed in court. On Feb. 28 of this year, he called two elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school in a 2-hour period with bomb threats, prompting the schools to lock down and the police to search for explosives.

On April 27 and 28, Buchanan called in additional bomb threats to some of the schools. The FBI tracked the phone number from which the threats were made to Buchanan's girlfriend in Oklahoma.

She told the agents that she had heard Buchanan, who is a long-haul truck driver, make threats to schools, hospitals and police department while he was on the road and they were on the phone together for hours, with him using a separate phone to make the threats. According to his girlfriend, Buchanan made most of the threats while on the road and he doesn't understand that what he did was wrong.

When FBI agents confronted Buchanan last month at his home, he refused to speak with them, according to the affidavit.

Buchanan was expected to make his initial court appearance today in federal court in Wichita. Contact information for a lawyer representing him wasn't immediately available.

The allegations against Buchanan come a week after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old high school dropout murdered 19 children and two adults.

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