Arrest Made Following UMES Bomb Threat - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Arrest Made Following UMES Bomb Threat

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - University of Maryland Eastern Shore police made an arrest Thursday in connection with a bomb threat that targeted a construction site on campus in early July, authorities say.

The university says 26-year-old Maximino Melendez, of Salisbury, was charged with two counts each of making a threat of arson and a false statement of destructive device. All are felony charges, authorities say.

University Police say Melendez was taken into custody at the office of his probation officer around 8:30 a.m. Thursday. He will be held in jail without bond pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday.

According to court records, Melendez was already on probation following a February 2014 arrest for intentionally setting fire to a home on Liberty Street in Salisbury. 

Somerset County Emergency Services say a dispatcher received two phone calls on the morning of July 6, saying there was an explosive device in or around UMES' new engineering/aviation science classroom building that was under construction on the east side of campus. Authorities say the dispatcher alerted campus police, who in turn issued an emergency alert using electronic devices. Evacuation of the construction site also was ordered immediately as well as a nearby classroom building with research labs and the university's physical plant.

Bomb sniffing dogs from other law enforcement agencies were brought in to clear the area and found no explosive devices.

The incident disrupted construction for much of that day and prompted some university officials as a precaution to release high school students participating in a popular summer work-study program held on the west side of campus.

UMES Police say they used electronic tracking data to obtain a subpoena, which enabled investigators to identify Melendez as the prime suspect. According to UMES police, their investigation revealed Melendez, who is originally from New York, was a laborer at the UMES construction arranged by the Salisbury office of Labor Ready, a Tacoma, Wash.-based company that provides temporary employment.

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