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Federal fugitive pleads guilty to making hoax bomb threats

Isoczky claimed packages would be sent to Rocklin, Auburn
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Stephen J. Isoczky Jr., 60, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of making bomb threats and a single count of lying to federal agents, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, with the cooperation of the Modesto Police Department and the Tracy Police Department, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.

Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service San Francisco Division Oscar Villanueva said: “The Postal Inspection Service takes bomb threats very seriously and takes every precaution to ensure the safety of postal workers and the safe handling and delivery of items in the U.S. Mail. The USPIS, as a national first responder, stands ready to utilize all resources to prevent hazardous materials and explosives from traveling in the U.S. Mail.”

According to court documents, on Sept. 2, 2012, Isoczky contacted the national telephone network of the United States Postal Inspection Service claiming to be a concerned citizen alerting authorities of impending letter bombs. Isoczky claimed the bombs were going to be delivered shortly to a residence in Rocklin. Isoczky also admitted that on Nov. 1, 2012, he again contacted the USPIS national telephone network claiming to be a concerned citizen alerting authorities of a pending letter bomb. Isoczky claimed this bomb was sent to a residence in Auburn. The Postal Inspection Service and other law enforcement personnel spent over 200 extra-work hours, 24/7, monitoring (including x-ray and manual screening) all U.S. mail going to the target zip codes and the specific addresses. According to court records, after Isoczky's second bomb threat, law enforcement traced his call to a pay telephone in Tracy. Law enforcement later located a nearby motel in which Isoczky was staying. When Isoczky was contacted on Nov. 1, 2012, he repeatedly lied to law enforcement about his involvement and he provided law enforcement false information about not knowing and never hearing of the intended victims, the release said.

At the time Isoczky made the false letter bomb threats, he was a federal fugitive. In 2005, Isoczky was convicted of federal counterfeiting offenses. After serving his sentence, he was released in June 2008, but since July 7, 2008, he failed to contact his assigned probation officer.

Isoczky is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on Feb. 6, 2013. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $750,000 fine for each count of making hoax letter bomb threats and an additional five years in prison for lying to the investigating postal inspectors. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.