George Rita II, 42, of Carbondale, Illinois, pleaded guilty to making a false threat to blow up a military recruiting center in Carbondale. Rita had been named in a one-count indictment returned on July 11, 2018, charging him with intentionally conveying false information about a bomb threat, which is a federal offense. According to the indictment, on June 28, 2018, Rita sent a threatening anonymous message to an FBI tip line in Clarksburg, West Virginia, claiming that he was heading to a recruitment center to blow it up and that no one could stop him.
Although no location was originally given for the threatened recruitment center, the FBI was able to determine that the message had come from Southern Illinois and ultimately tracked the source of the message to an IP address assigned to Rita’s apartment, which is in close proximity to the U.S. Army Recruiting Office in Carbondale. During his plea hearing, the defendant admitted sending the threatening message and confirmed the information discovered during the FBI’s rapid response and investigation.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 27, 2018. Rita, who is currently being held without bond, faces up to five years imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000.