Vallourec bomb threat suspect to remain jailed


A U.S. magistrate has ordered a city woman jailed without bond after the FBI accused her of making threatening communications and communicating false information in connection with a bomb threat against Vallourec Star.

On Monday, U.S. Magistrate George J. Limbert ordered Rakieda D. Cheatham, 27, of Broadview Avenue, detained and bound over to a federal grand jury pending further action in the case.

The magistrate ordered detention because he said Cheatham posed a risk to herself and to the community and might flee.

Each of the two charges in the FBI’s criminal complaint against Cheatham carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine upon conviction.

Cheatham, who sat quietly in court wearing an orange Mahoning County jail uniform, made threatening phone calls and e-mails to three company employees after her temporary employment at the steel-making company ended Feb. 27, according to an FBI affidavit.

Some of the e-mails sent March 27 contained references to bomb threats, which resulted in a three-hour evacuation of all 653 employees from the Martin Luther King Boulevard plant on that day until the city police bomb squad deemed the area safe.

“The unnecessary evacuation caused considerable employee panic and significant financial loss to the company,” FBI agent Anthony J. Sano reported in the affidavit supporting the accusations.

Read more in Tuesday's Vindicator.

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