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Man sentenced after pleading guilty to bomb threat against Michigan Capitol

Threatening to blow up the Capitol in Lansing will cost a Charlotte man a year behind bars. (Shutterstock)
  • Charlotte Man pleaded guilty to making a bomb threat against Michigan Capitol.
  • The man was sentenced to a year in jail, three years probation, and mental health treatment.
  • The man also threatened the life of a Michigan Representative.

A man who pleaded guilty to threatening to bomb the Michigan Capitol last year has been sentenced to a year in jail, three years probation and mandated to receive mental health treatment.

Michael Varrone, from Charlotte, was charged with two counts of false report or threat of terrorism and a false report or threat of bomb. The charges of false report or threat of terrorism made against him were dropped by prosecutors as part of a plea agreement.

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“Threatening the lives and safety of our elected officials and innocent bystanders is deplorable,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Wednesday in a statement.  “We treat every instance as a serious threat and will prosecute those who perpetrate such crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”

Varrone allegedly called the state House of Representatives six times on Dec. 12, 2020, including once to threaten the life of Rep. Cynthia Johnson, D-Detroit, and her family.

The threats came days after a hearing where Rudy Giuliani, the lawyer of former President Donald Trump, and others testified about claims of widespread voter fraud. Johnson, who was a member of the Michigan House Oversight Committee where the hearings were taking place, had been vocal about threats she received following the hearing

The voicemail Varrone left said that “if there is one more threat by a Democratic person in Michigan that’s supposed to represent me, I will personally come down there and take over that (expletive) building at the Capitol,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

“If I’m threatened by another senator or anybody like Cynthia Johnson, I’ll personally take care of that (expletive) and their whole (expletive) family,” he continued in the voicemail. 

Varrone also allegedly contacted an operator at the Capitol complex on Jan. 7, 2021 and said the Capitol was going to explode and people needed to evacuate. The Michigan State Police were alerted to the call and a sweep concluded there was no real threat. 

The threat was phoned on the day following the Jan. 6 riots on the Capitol in Washington D.C. and the certification that now-President Joe Biden won the 2020 general election. 

Varrone pleaded guilty last month.

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