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Former Indiana teacher sentenced to federal prison for making bomb threats on school

Mary Fortner, 35, pleaded guilty to two counts of making hoax bomb threats.
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A southern Indiana woman will serve time in federal prison for making bomb threats during her tenure as a substitute teacher.

Mary Fortner, 35, of Milltown, pleaded guilty to two counts of making hoax bomb threats. She was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

On Jan. 19, Fortner sent a bomb threat to a Milltown police officer using an anonymous messaging application. The threat was targeted at a Crawford County school where she was employed at a substitute teacher.

FBI agents and Crawford County Sheriff's deputies interviewed Fortner at her residence and executed a search warrant. A cell phone and other devices were recovered.

According to court records, Fortner denied any knowledge of the bomb threat during multiple interviews with authorities.

On Feb. 21, Fortner sent an email to the Corydon Democrat, a local newspaper in Corydon, Ind. She threatened to bomb a list of several addresses, including Milltown Elementary School and the Corydon Cinemas.

Sheriff's deputies executed another search warrant that night and arrested Fortner. The FBI determined the message was sent from a mobile device that had been factory reset in an attempt to conceal the crime.

“This series of bomb threats shook the sense of safety that all of our children, teachers, and families deserve—and are especially egregious coming from an adult trusted to educate our children,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “These hoax threats needlessly caused an urgent and expansive law enforcement response. I commend the FBI, Harrison and Crawford County Sheriff’s Departments, and the Milltown Police Department for working together to quickly identify the perpetrator. The federal prison sentence imposed here demonstrates that threats of violence and terror are serious crimes that will not be tolerated in our communities.”

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker. The FBI, Crawford and Harrison County sheriff's offices and Milltown police investigated the case.

Fortner was also ordered to begin three years of supervision by the U.S. Probation Office upon her release.


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