08/28/08 — Suspect accused of bomb threat

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Suspect accused of bomb threat

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on August 28, 2008 1:42 PM

Acting on what he said was deemed a "credible threat" by state and federal law enforcement agencies, Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said a Wayne County man has been arrested for making a threatening statement against the county courthouse.

The threats to blow up the courthouse, the sheriff and any officers inside were received Monday by the Pitt County Sheriff's Office and were immediately forwarded to the State Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

"It came out of Pitt County," Winders said. "It was first thought it was Pitt County (that was targeted) but then we learned it was for Wayne County."

Cleveland Harold Egleston II

The suspect, Cleveland Harold Egleston II, 57, of Old Mount Olive Highway, was then arrested at his home Tuesday morning after the Wayne County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics team and agents with the FBI, ATF and the Air Force's Office of Special Intelligence arrived with search and arrest warrants.

Egleston was charged with communicating a threat on a court officer, as well as simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia after about 43 grams of marijuana were seized. Also seized were 17 weapons, but Winders said no charges have been filed yet regarding those. He also said no explosives were found.

Egleston was placed under a $10,000 bond.

Previously, his only arrest in Wayne County had been for a driving-while-impaired charge in 2004, Sheriff's Office officials said.

However, Winders said, this was not the first time Egleston has threatened the courthouse, although he was not arrested before.

"He had done this in 2007 also. He's made these threats before," he said. "It seems like it may stem from a child support issue. In general, we deem him as blowing off steam."

Winders explained, however, that the decision to arrest Egleston was made based on the confidence of the federal and state agencies that this was a credible threat.

"They said they had confirmed from confidential sources that said he was capable of doing this," Winders said. "You just don't ever know and you have to depend on what the sources say. Anytime you have a threat like this you have to look into it."

He added that once they realized the threat was against Wayne County -- around 3:30 or 4 p.m. Monday -- they alerted the security at the courthouse and passed out photos of Egleston, but noted that he had been under surveillance since early that morning when the threatening statements were originally received.