Man suspected of CBC bomb threat held on $150,000 bail, has lengthy criminal history

Tri-City HeraldJuly 25, 2013 

— Bail has been set for $150,000 for a Finley man arrested on suspicion of making bomb threats to Columbia Basin College.

Steven Eugene Brown, 52, appeared in Franklin County Superior Court on Thursday.

Judge Bruce Spanner said Brown "undermined the security of our entire community." He said that coupled with a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1989 is the reason he set bail at $150,000.

Brown's criminal history includes unlawful hunting of big game, a felony drug conviction, domestic violence assault, driving under the influence, disorderly conduct, attempted theft and fishing without a license.

Brown told the court that if he didn't get out of jail, he'd lose his disability payments. He has a wife and six children, three of whom still live at home.

He is on jail on a 72-hour hold and has not yet been formally charged.

Brown did not qualify for a public defender because he has equity in his Kennewick home. He appears in court July 30, if he's charged.

Police say he had a “very loose” connection to the school, a police official said Thursday.

Brown was not a student at the Pasco community college and it doesn’t appear he ever worked there, said Pasco police Sgt. Jeff Harpster.

“There are some connections to CBC,” he said.

Brown was arrested Wednesday morning at his home in Kennewick and booked into the Franklin County jail on suspicion of making “several” threats to the college. The threats were called in July 18 and shut down both the Richland and Pasco campuses for a night.

Police did not find any explosive devices when they searched Brown’s home or anything to indicate he was planning on making explosives, Harpster said.

“We believe it was just the threat at this point, he said.

Police believe the threats were called in from a cellphone and they were able to trace the calls with the help of CBC and phone companies, Harpster said.

“It wasn’t an easy process, believe me,” Harpster said.

The threats were called in to the Pasco campus and police are unsure of the motive behind the threats, Harpster said.

The caller targeted at least one building on campus and gave a time for when the explosives would go off, officials said.

No explosives were found at either campus after an extensive search by authorities and CBC reopened the next day.

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