Graham County Courthouse evacuated due to bomb threat

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Graham County Courthouse received a bomb threat this afternoon and has been evacuated.

Threat deemed a hoax and no incendiary device was located

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – The Graham County Courthouse has been evacuated due to a bomb threat.

Sheriff’s investigators were clearing the courthouse as of 2:30 p.m. searching for any device that might resemble an explosive. The search was confirmed by courthouse employees and Graham County Undersheriff Jeff McCormies.

A Gila Herald reader advised that her nephew was scheduled for court at 2:30 p.m. but the building was evacuated before his hearing began.

After a search of the building,  no incendiary device was located. Court then resumed its normal schedule.

Preliminary reports say the threat was made by a person who called 911 and said there was a bomb in the courthouse. The threat was reportedly made by someone using what is commonly known as an “Obama phone”, which is actually part of the Lifeline federal program started 28 years ago under President Ronald Reagan that was created to subsidize telephone providers to give discounts to low-income consumers. The plan was expanded under President Barak Obama as cell phones became prevalent and most services switched from landlines to cell phones.

This article was updated Tuesday evening.