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Somersworth man sought for bomb threat at Rockingham County courthouse
BRENTWOOD – A Somersworth man is being sought for allegedly calling in a bomb threat on Tuesday at the Rockingham County courthouse to avoid his sentencing hearing on falsifying physical evidence charges.
Jonathan Michael Long called 911 and made the threat somewhere near Rockingham County Superior Court on Tuesday morning, according to Al Brackett, a major with the sheriff’s department.
“We have witnesses who (saw) him in the area of the courthouse right after the call,” Brackett said on Wednesday afternoon.
Dozens of court workers, lawyers and area residents were forced to evacuate the Route 125 courthouse in Brentwood on Tuesday morning about 9 a.m., while a bomb-sniffing dog spent more than two hours in and around the building. No explosive was found.
Tuesday’s bomb scare came hours after a similar incident happened at a Wal-Mart store in Somersworth. A 911 dispatcher received a threat at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, forcing store workers and customers to evacuate the building while it was searched by police.
No arrests have been made in that case. Somersworth police were not available for comment on Wednesday night.
The sheriff’s department obtained an arrest warrant for Long on a charge of causing public alarms.
Long, 27, was identified as a suspect soon after he allegedly made the call on Tuesday morning because his voice was a familiar to an investigator with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department, Brackett said.
“One of the investigators heard it and recognized the voice,” Brackett said.
Long also failed to appear at his 9 a.m. court hearing where he was expected to plead guilty to charges of falsifying physical evidence, according to Brackett.
That court case was also investigated by the sheriff’s department.
Long was indicted on two counts of falsifying physical evidence for allegedly trying to use a letter purported to be from a doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital to influence a court proceeding in January.
He allegedly attached the letter to a court pleading requesting electronic monitoring in an attempt to dupe a judge and prosecutor, according to indictments.
Judge Kenneth McHugh issued a warrant for Long’s arrest for failing to appear for his plea-and-sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
Brackett said the sheriff’s office will pursue restitution against Long if he is convicted on the false alarms charge. The emergency response from Tuesday is estimated to cost about $4,000, according to Brackett.
Efforts to arrest Long have not been successful so far.
His last known address is 31 Wildflower Circle, Apt. 1 in Somersworth. Tips on his whereabouts can be called into Sheriff’s Sgt. Jay Murphy at 603-679-9495, or Det. Kevin Jelineau at 603-679-9486.
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