CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - An arrest was made after authorities conducted an investigation into a letter that threatened to blow up three schools and a prison, deputies say.
DNA pulled from the letter containing the threat was used to identify Sadarius Trumane Douglas as a suspect for issuing the threat on Nov. 16. The letter was allegedly mailed by the inmate at a state prison in Taylorsville. The letter stated the incident was going to take place on December 27.
Detectives obtained the original letter and sent it to the NC Crime lab to be analyzed for fingerprints and DNA. A rush was put on the request due to the threats made to the educational facilities and the prison, officials say.
Douglas, 24, is serving a 10-year sentence for indecent liberties and statutory rape out of Lincoln County.
Authorities say the suspect admitted to licking the envelope but denies writing the letter. Douglas says he knows who wrote the letter, officials say.
Officials say the letter was sent as a threat if prison authorities did not clear up an internal matter concerning the inmate.
Sheriff Bowman says it appears the threats were made as part of a turf war between a couple of groups at the prison. He believes the one whose name was on the letter was actually being set up to take the blame for the threats.
“That individual had nothing to do with writing the letter but apparently had a job in prison that the others wanted.” Bowman thinks the real letter writer hoped to get the first inmate moved to another job or to another prison. Instead, he says, the DNA evidence pointed to Douglas. No other DNA was recovered from the letter or envelope, he said.
Bowman says no schools were named, but the threat itself was specific.
“To blow up three schools near the prison on or about December 27.”
An Alexander County sheriff says the bomb threats were a ploy by the inmate. He allegedly signed the name of another inmate in efforts to get the person in trouble and moved out, the sheriff says.
The prison is a high security, close custody facility with “dangerous people” inside, says Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman. The threat was in a letter mailed to a legal aide group in Raleigh. That group notified prison officials who immediately notified the sheriff’s office and the school system.
Douglas is charged with three counts of mass violence on educational property and one count of making a threat of a destructive device on the prison.