A 28-year-old Whitefish Bay man is facing charges for allegedly calling in bomb threats to CVS pharmacy on Hampton Road.
Scott Lee Sanford Jr. was charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Tuesday with one count of creating a bomb scare. If convicted, he faces up to 3 ½ years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
At 8:40 p.m. Aug. 14, an employee was working a register at CVS when he got a phone call saying “there are five bombs in the store and they are going to go off in 30 minutes.” The employee got scared and immediately hung up the phone, but heard the caller laughing before it disconnected.
The employee told his manager who called police to report the second bomb threat the store had gotten in five days. Emergency officials evacuated the store and swept the building and didn’t find any explosives.
Investigators contacted the CVS IT department, which traced both bomb threats back to the same phone number, which was listed as a cellular phone number for a man living in Glendale, however, the address was fake. Officers searched call records for the cell phone number and found one legitimate number called, which was Sanford’s mother, according to the complaint.
Police then went to Sanford’s mothers’ home in the 4800 block of North Anita Avenue, where they knocked on the doors but didn’t get a response. The officers were assisted by the Milwaukee Police Department’s fusion center, which located the cell phone within the house, noticed it was making an outgoing call and the person with the phone was moving around inside.
Police continued to knock on the door another 20 minutes until Sanford’s mother came to the door. She then called Sanford downstairs and he was placed under arrest. She told officers her son and grandchild were in her bedroom with her watching TV at the time and when officers searched the room they found a cell phone with the battery missing, according to the complaint.
Officers found a battery in Sanford’s pocket, so they placed it in the phone, but it turned out to be a different phone. They searched the room again and this time found an almost identical looking cell phone, which was partially dismantled, but they were able to determine it was the one used for the bomb threat, according to the complaint.
Sanford said the phone was his, but denied making the threats, saying his phone service was disconnected at the time of the threats due to an unpaid bill, but officers discovered this wasn’t the case.
Sanford will make his initial appearance in court Oct. 10.