Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

FBI Seizes Records in Bomb Probe Second Time Couple Served Warrant in Cambria County

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

FBI Seizes Records in Bomb Probe Second Time Couple Served Warrant in Cambria County

Article excerpt

A Cambria County couple intertwined in the University of Pittsburgh bomb threat investigation said FBI agents and police officers with a search warrant seized items from their home for a second time this week, taking handwritten notes, educational records, drafts of a lawsuit and a cell phone on Friday.

Seamus Johnston, 22, said he was chatting on the phone with a friend when more than a half-dozen investigators arrived at the couple's Jackson home and he thought, "Not again, not again, please God."

Mr. Johnston and his partner, Katherine Anne McCloskey, 56, have denied any involvement with the dozens of threats that have prompted more than 130 building evacuations since mid-March.

A search warrant signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly at 5 p.m. on Thursday allowed agents to seize evidence of violations of two federal statutes -- one that governs interstate communications and another that involves conspiracy. Items that could be considered as evidence were:

* All files or documents that, in whatever format, contained any reference to bomb threats, animus or motive to threaten the University of Pittsburgh or any individuals, including those associated with the school.

* All handwritten documents that would constitute exemplars for comparison to bomb threats written on walls in buildings at the University of Pittsburgh.

* Any documents indicating that Seamus Johnston and his partner have been in the Pittsburgh area since January.

Mr. Johnston said FBI agents first visited the transgender couple's home a little more than a week ago to interview them. They were subsequently subpoenaed to testify and provide handwriting samples and fingerprints to a federal grand jury investigating the threats on Tuesday.

A judge considered holding them in contempt of court after Mr. Johnston asked to see a warrant before supplying the samples. …

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