Arrest made in Beaumont bomb threat

Arrest made in Beaumont bomb threat

The Joint Terrorism Task Force associated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas in Beaumont has made an arrest in the bomb threat made at ExxonMobil on Wednesday, June 15.

A 23-year-old Beaumont, Texas man has been arrested for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.  

Lance Giovanni Fontenot was arrested on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 pursuant to a criminal complaint issued by the U.S. District Court charging him with maliciously conveying false information about explosive materials.  Fontenot appeared in federal court this afternoon on the charges.

According to information presented in court, on June 15, the ExxonMobil refinery located in Beaumont, Texas received a call from an individual claiming explosive devices had been placed at the refinery and were set to explode.  An investigation led authorities to Fontenot.  Fontenot was questioned by federal agents and admitted to placing the telephone call. 

 If convicted, Fontenot faces up 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force including agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Beaumont Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Services, and the Port Arthur Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Woods.

It is important to note that a complaint, arrest, or indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Prior coverage


The ExxonMobil Downtown refinery issued a shelter-in-place Wednesday, June 15,  after the refinery received a bomb threat.

"ExxonMobil received a bomb threat shorty before 11 a.m.," said Patrick Trahan, Manager, Public and Government Affairs for ExxonMobil. "We contacted the authorities."

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded along with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

According to JSCO Deputy Marcus McLellan, after sweeping the entire ExxonMobil property, a suspicious package was found. McLellan said a package no one could account for was found underneath a workbench by the ExxonMobil B&P gate. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) was called in to assist, McLellan said.

The package was checked and X-rayed by the Houston Police Department Bomb Squad who was called in by ATF.  There was no device found and the all clear was given.