Bomb threat suspect held on $250K bond
A man charged with making bomb threats by phone to an immigrant advocacy group in May is being held in Montgomery County on $250,000 bond.
Wesley James Queen II of Margaret Avenue in Pasadena, Md., turned himself in Tuesday morning after an investigation traced calls made to Casa of Maryland to his phone, said Montgomery County Police Lt. Paul Starks.
Montgomery police obtained an arrest warrant for him Oct. 4.
The calls were received May 18 at Casa's offices in Silver Spring and on a civil rights hot line in Frederick County.
In a call to Casa spokesman Mario Quiroz, the caller tells him not to be surprised "when all your places start to blow up in pieces." A similar profanity-laced call was left on Casa's voicemail.
"We feel safer that the person who placed the phone calls has been identified and is in legal proceedings," Quiroz said outside the county detention center, where Queen had a bail hearing Tuesday afternoon.
"This is proof of the increasing anti-immigrant sentiment in Maryland, and we want that to stop," Quiroz added.
In a third call May 18 to the Rev. Simon Bautista, a priest in the Episcopal diocese of Washington and Casa board vice president, the caller calls the priest by an ethnic slur and warns him not to be surprised when there is a "bullet in the back" of his brain.
Bautista received that call as a voicemail on his mobile phone used for his job in Washington.
A Metropolitan police spokesman refused to say whether they were investigating the call to Bautista, but said they would cooperate with Montgomery County police.
Queen, 34, is charged with two counts of false statements — threatening to use a destructive device and two counts of telephone misuse.
If convicted on the Maryland charges, Queen could get up to 10 years in jail and be fined $10,000 for each count of threatening to use a destructive device, and up to three years and be fined $500 for each count of telephone misuse.
Queen previously was convicted of battery, burglary and several petty crimes and has served time in jail.
Casa operates four day-laborer centers in the county and provides services for immigrants, including English classes and vocational training.
In May 2007, a fire set at Casa's day-laborer center in Shady Grove caused $2,000 in damage. It was ruled arson, but no one has been charged.
Staff Writers Janel Davis and C. Benjamin Ford contributed to this report.