May 27, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Oklahoma Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening LA Schools with Bomb Attacks and Shootings

Angry Man Pleads Guilty To Making Chilling Threats Against Children and Schools

Marcus Jamal Sanchez, 45, also known as “Marcus James Buchanan,” from Blackwell, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge for making bomb threats to five Los Angeles schools, including two elementary schools. The threats included a chilling plan to shoot children as they exited one of the elementary schools.

Sanchez entered a guilty plea to one count of making a threat through interstate commerce to damage and destroy buildings using fire and explosives. He grew up in Los Angeles but currently resides in Oklahoma. Arrested in June 2022, Sanchez has been free on bond since July 2022. The guilty plea was made on February 16.

United States Attorney Martin Estrada stated, “Sanchez put children, teachers, and staff at risk through his reckless and irresponsible actions. Schools should be safe havens for our kids, and my office will use the force of federal law – when necessary – to prosecute individuals who threaten the educational safety of our young people.”

According to the plea agreement, in less than two hours on February 28, 2022, Sanchez telephoned bomb threats to two elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school in Los Angeles. One of the elementary schools received a specific threat to shoot children as they exited the building. The schools were Overland Elementary in Cheviot Hills, Vine Street Elementary, Fairfax High, Bancroft Middle School, and Le Conte Middle School in the Hollywood area. 

In subsequent threats on April 27 and 28, Sanchez targeted two Los Angeles schools he had previously threatened, explicitly threatening to shoot and kill children at other schools. One call on April 27 mentioned a bomb at an elementary school, prompting a lockdown and police search, finding no explosives.

On April 28, Sanchez called the same school again, claiming a pipe bomb was placed at the school’s address. The school was locked down, and a search yielded no explosives. That day, he also threatened a different elementary school with a shooting, resulting in lockdown but no discovery of explosives.

United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton has scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 7, where Sanchez could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. The FBI and the Los Angeles School Police Department investigated the case.

“The depraved act of making death threats to vulnerable schoolchildren is incomprehensible to most and will not be tolerated by the FBI, nor the American people,” said Amir Ehsaei, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

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