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No arrests yet in prison bomb threat

State police said they encountered no incidents upon moving 400 inmates of the Stevens Correctional Center in McDowell County into the recreation yard Sunday after a bomb threat was phoned into the facility.

“A walk-through was conducted and no type of suspicious item was located,” said state police Sgt. C.F. Kane.

The evacuation of all inmates became necessary when a female caller claimed two explosive devices planted somewhere in the prison and then hung up.

“We’re confident there was no explosive device,” said Kane. “It was more the communicating of a threat. It’s now being looked into who, how and why that threat was made.”

All calls to the facility are monitored and it’s standard for caller identification to capture all incoming calls to any prison. Kane wouldn’t speculate on whether the prison electronics had given any leads. He said only the investigation continues and officers are developing a person of interest.

“The investigation is ongoing, and we are developing persons of interest but no arrests have been made,” Kane said.

Kane said it was an undertaking to keep an eye on 400 inmates in the open yard, but there were enough police from all agencies in McDowell County to handle the job. It turned into a large scale real-life drill.

“Everything occurred without incident and without injury,”  he said. “It was a big feat to handle, but with all the agencies working together it went flawlessly.”


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