North Missouri man sentenced to 1-1/2 years in federal prison for making bomb threat

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A Missouri man was sentenced in federal court for making a bomb threat against the Social Security Administration field office in St. Joseph.

James C. Curtman, 32, of St. Joseph, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 18 months in federal prison without parole.

On Aug. 11, 2022, Curtman pleaded guilty to one count of influencing a federal officer by threat. Curtman admitted that he threatened to blow up the field office building of the Social Security Administration in St. Joseph.

During a phone appointment on June 3, 2021, Curtman began cursing and yelling at a Social Security Administration employee. While the employee continued to try and help him, Curtman used demeaning and offensive language to refer to the employee and her co-workers. He told the employee he was going to make a bomb and blow up the building. The employee got the attention of the building guard and placed the call on speaker. Curtman continued to curse at the employee, who eventually said she was terminating the call because of the bomb threat and cursing.

The field office was closed early that day and the next day due to concerns over the bomb threat.

The employee told investigators she is accustomed to abusive language, but the bomb threat really concerned her. She was concerned for her co-workers. The employee said it was concerning how Curtman “went from 1 to 100 at the drop of a dime” and she was worried because of his tone of voice, rage, and the close location of his address. She said she was worried he would come to the Social Security Administration office and commit violence.

Curtman has a prior conviction for issuing a terrorist threat in August 2020. Curtman called the Department of Social Services in Rolla, Mo., and expressed his frustration with the fact he had been unsuccessfully trying to get food stamps. He used offensive and demeaning language to refer to the state employees handling his food stamp case and referred to his past threats to blow up the food stamp office. Curtman also has a history of threat-related conduct for which he was not criminally charged, including a threat in May 2017 to blow up a U.S. Bank, as well as a series of misdemeanor convictions for property damage and threatening the peace.

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney R. Pratten. It was investigated by the Federal Protective Service and the Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration.

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