BRENTWOOD — A Somersworth man who put off his jail sentence to “spend more time with his kids” by calling in a bomb threat at the Rockingham County Courthouse had two to four years added to his time behind bars on Tuesday.
Jonathan Michael Long, 27, pleaded guilty to charges of falsifying physical evidence and false reports as to explosives for calling 911 to report a bomb threat on Dec. 4 — the day he was due in court to be sentenced in another case.
Long told a 911 dispatcher there were two pipe bombs in the courthouse that were going to explode between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. He made the call while sitting in a car up the road at the intersection of Routes 125 and 101.
Long’s wife, Rosie, later told detectives that she was in the car when her husband called in the threat. She asked her husband why he did it, prosecutors said. Long had to only serve eight months in jail.
“He related a desire to spend time with their kids,” Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton said. The disposable cell phone used for the call was tossed out the window near a Burger King parking lot. Investigators recovered the phone the next day, Bolton said.
Long said few words beyond “yes” and “no” in response to questions by Judge Larry Smukler on Tuesday.
Bolton said that Long was trying to dodge a plea-and-sentencing on charges that he created a bogus doctor’s letter to get him freed on electronic monitoring. The letter claimed that Long’s 2-month-old son needed surgery to drain fluid from around his brain.
Long was serving a 12-month jail sentence at the time for violating the terms of his probation on forgery and theft convictions, court records show.
Long called his wife from jail with instructions on how to create a letterhead and word the letter so that it resembled one that came from an actual doctor who worked at Children’s Hospital in Boston.
Deputies investigated the claim about the surgery, and even reviewed recorded jail calls to his wife.
One deputy who investigated the bogus letter case also recognized Long’s voice on the 911 call.
Bolton said Long also called in a bomb threat at a Walmart store in Somersworth a day prior to calling in the threat at the courthouse.
It’s unclear if he was ever charged in that case.
Long will have to pay up to $3,000 in restitution, with $2,652 going to the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department and the remainder paid to state police for the hours-long response.
Scores of people were evacuated from the building and a bomb sniffing state police dog was brought in to search the courthouse and grounds.
The prison sentence Long will serve time on is actually for the jail term he was trying to avoid when he called in the threat. He received a suspended 3½- to 7-year prison term for calling in the threat, and will remain on probation for five years.