An Easton man who threatened to bomb the Internal Revenue Service office in Bethlehem in February escaped extended jail time with a sentence of 15 months of probation handed down Friday in Northampton County Court, according to published reports.
Leonard Mackey, 64, of 1025 Wilkes-Barre St., must also pay $2,357.50 to the for the cost of its response, which included an evacuation of the Sungard Public Sector building at 3 W. Broad St. and a sweep by the Bomb Unit.
Mackey pleaded guilty to terroristic threats in September, when, according to The Express-Times, his defense attorney said his client did not mean to create a disturbance.
The February 28 incident came after Mackey spent a year trying to convince the IRS it had made a mistake on money the agency said he and his wife owed, said Joshua Fulmer, the defense attorney quoted in a Morning Call story.
According to police, Mackey told a employee that if he had any extra money, he would build a monument to the guy who blew up the IRS building in Texas.
That was a reference to Andrew Joseph Stack, a 53-year-old man, who, on Feb. 18, 2010, took his single-engine airplane and flew it into an office building where the Austin, Texas IRS office was located, killing himself and the office manager.
Then, Mackey said the following to a security guard who had previously asked him whether he was carrying a firearm: “You didn’t ask me about bombs. We have them downstairs.”
The comment touched off as Mackey ran off to his car and drove home where he was later arrested and thrown in jail on $500,000 bail. He was initially charged with “making threats to use a weapon of mass destruction.”
At sentencing, according to The Morning Call, Northampton County Judge Leonard Zito said he didn’t think Mackey was dangerous and a threat like that might have been laughed off years ago.
"It's a different world, and that's what you failed to recognize,” Zito told him.