Kansas City man sentenced in water threat hoax

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 70-year-old man who threatened to contaminate water supplies in Kansas and Missouri has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.

Manuel Garcia of Kansas City pleaded guilty in June and was sentenced Monday, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/1xxRvd4 ) reported.

Garcia admitted making three telephone calls to authorities in October 2013 about the fake plot to contaminate water supplies in Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita and Topeka. Kansas City police increased surveillance around water treatment plants for two weeks as a precaution, and similar responses occurred in the other cities.

Garcia said that for $10,000 and a grant of immunity, he would help officials find the two men he said planned to dump the deadly chemicals into the water supplies. Officials determined the threats were false.

An FBI agent recognized Garcia’s voice from a 2010 case in which he was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to making a phone call threatening to bomb the U.S. courthouse in downtown Kansas City. It prompted an evacuation of the courthouse and nearby buildings, and authorities found a fake explosive near the courthouse.

Prosecutors asked for a 14-month sentence, but Garcia requested 18 months because he wanted more time in prison to get treatment for depression and other medical issues.

Garcia, a refugee from Cuba who came to the U.S. in the 1980s, said he lost his job and car and was homeless.

 

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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