California man arrested for threats towards Monroe County courthouse

January 6, 2020

Ryan John Smith

Ryan John Smith, 23,  of Hemet, California, has been arrested and charged in connection with threats he made on Facebook directed at the Monroe County Courthouse and county employees.

Smith, formerly of Tannersville, was apprehended by deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in California at the request of detectives from the Monroe County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID).

In June, Smith had sent a message via Facebook Messenger to the official Facebook page of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office threatening to bomb the county courthouse.  When detectives interviewed Smith, he admitted to sending the message in a fit of drunken anger, which he said stemmed from an existing summary warrant for a shoplifting offense in East Stroudsburg.  Smith was seemingly remorseful and understanding of the potential consequences of making such threats, and the Office of the District Attorney decided not to extradite Smith from California and prosecute him for that threat.

However, on December 22, Smith sent a second threatening message on Facebook, stating that he was going to bomb the courthouse.  Detectives subsequently charged Smith for both bomb threats and obtained a warrant for Smith’s arrest.

Monroe County Detectives, working in conjunction with police in California, attempted to locate and arrest Smith but were initially unsuccessful.  As a result, Smith learned of the existence of the warrant, and sent a third message to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office on January 2, threatening to “kill every judge and person who works in that court house”, claiming that the police would never catch him.

Investigators were eventually able track Smith to a location in Menifee, California, where he was taken into custody by deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday.

Smith is facing charges of threats to use weapons of mass destruction, terroristic threats, and harassment.  Additional charges are pending for the January 2 threats.

Smith is currently incarcerated in California pending his extradition to Pennsylvania.

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