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Archive for Friday, August 29, 2008

Former Boeing worker charged with bomb threats to executives

August 29, 2008

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— Federal authorities say they found more than 100 guns at the home of a former Boeing Co. worker charged with sending bomb threats to some of the company's top executives.

A grand jury returned a 16-count indictment Thursday against 46-year-old Gino Augustus Turrella, of Des Moines, Wash., charging him with making threats and identity theft. He was arrested Tuesday at an REI parking lot.

Turrella worked as a flexible machine operator in Auburn from August 1987 to August 2005, Boeing spokeswoman Kelly Donaghy said.

On May 2 and 4, Turrella sent e-mails to a Boeing server threatening to shoot up a Boeing building in Auburn or, alternatively, strap himself with explosives, FBI Special Agent Chad Piontek wrote in a federal complaint.

"I'm going for maximum death and destruction in the work place!" Turrella allegedly wrote.

One e-mail was addressed to several top Boeing executives, including Scott Carson, chief executive of the company's Commercial Airplanes division; Pat Shanahan, general manager of the 787 program; and Robert J. Pasterick, Commercial Airplanes chief financial officer.

Turrella used an e-mail address that appeared to belong to his former manager, who is identified in court papers only as J.O., and he signed the e-mail with his former manager's name, the agent wrote.

The investigation into those threats - as well as similar threats sent later that month to the Shell oil refinery in Anacortes - uncovered a long history of threatening behavior by Turrella that had previously come to the FBI's attention.

Through much of the 1990s he made threats over ham radio, including threats to kill people by AK-47, Piontek wrote, and he frequently jammed transmissions. The Federal Communications Commission fined him $10,000, but he never paid. In turn, Turrella threatened to bomb the Kirkland, Wash., FCC office, according to court documents. Despite witness statements and fingerprint evidence, he was given a deferred prosecution.

In 1997, the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle sent Turrella's lawyer a stern letter asking that Turrella stop interfering with communications on a Coast Guard emergency distress channel.

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