Woman Sentenced for Bomb Hoax Involving JAXPORT
U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. sentenced Linda Gayle Wilson (46, Baldwin) to 12 months in federal prison for providing false information/hoaxes involving a bomb report to law enforcement. Wilson was arrested on December 27, 2011, on a federal warrant by local law enforcement. She pleaded guilty on July 3, 2012.
According to court documents, on May 9, 2010, continuing into the early morning of May 10, 2010, Wilson made a series of phone calls from her residence in Baldwin to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO). During the last call to JSO, she reported that a female terrorist, carrying a bomb, was on board a cruise ship that was scheduled to arrive at the port in Jacksonville and that the terrorist intended to explode the bomb prior to the cruise ship reaching the port. Based on information provided by Wilson, law enforcement identified the cruise ship as the Carnival Fascination. At the time of the call, the Fascination was returning to the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal from a Mother’s Day cruise to the Caribbean. There were 2,404 passengers and 896 crew members on board.
Working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, JSO, and JAXPORT Security, crew members on the Fascination instituted ship-wide bomb search procedures.
Upon docking at JAXPORT, federal and local law enforcement officers boarded the cruise ship. Further searches were conducted and no explosive devices were found. Subsequent investigation determined that the information reported by Wilson, concerning a terrorist with a bomb, was false.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin C. Frein and A. Tysen Duva.