WHITTEMORE, Mich. (WLNS) – A retired Whittemore man has been arrested after allegedly placing pipe bombs near several cell phone stores and leaving threatening notes near cell towers.
According to the FBI, John Douglas Allen, 75, was part of a group called “Coalition for Moral Telecommunication” (CMT.)
In a note allegedly left by Allen, CMT is almost “30 strong” and aims to cease the transmission of “cursing, pornography, and all manner of indecent communication.” The note gave cell companies six months to comply as “software must me [sic] developed.”
The note also demanded $5 million and further threatened cell companies, saying: “You may, if you like, fight this, go to the Police, FBI or any Government Agency. Understand this: if ONE of our people is arrested, now or in the future, your problems will begin. Our reach is in 27 states thus far. After any arrest the price will go up one hundred times. Any doubts? Test us!”
According to the FBI, Allen was caught on several security cameras. Once inside a Sault Ste. Marie sporting goods store, once outside an AT&T store in Sault Ste Marie with a package, and once outside a Cheboygan Verizon store.
The packages contained pipe bombs filled with metal BBs and/or nails, the FBI said.
On September 16, the Cheboygan Police Department was dispatched to the Verizon Store after an employee reported the package. Once there, police contacted the MSP bomb squad, who confirmed the package was a bomb.
Police were also called to the AT&T store, where a bomb was found inside the other package.
Handwriting on the package said “This is last warning next time business hours [sic.]”
According to the FBI, Allen was caught on traffic cameras in a maroon minivan. At one point, the FBI believes he switched license plates as Allen was spotted driving an identical vehicle with a different license plate.
Allen faces possible charges of extortion and attempted damage or destruction of buildings used in interstate commerce.
The full criminal complaint filed by the FBI can be read here.