A central Iowa man is wanted in connection with a couple of phone calls placed Monday morning to the Jasper County Courthouse. Sheriff John Halferty says a voicemail threat was left in the county treasurer’s office before an employee in that office answered another call. “Both messages indicated a time frame, 10 a.m., and there was a bomb inside the courthouse,” Halferty said.
The courthouse was evacuated, as were nearby businesses, but no suspicious devices were found. “We had deputies and officers from the Newton Police Department go door-to-door to notify the businesses of this threat and we allowed them to make the decision if they wanted to remain open or close,” Halferty said. Some businesses did close. The courthouse reopened Monday around 2 p.m.
An arrest warrant has been issued for 39-year-old Martin Meloche of Newton, who was scheduled to be sentenced on felony drug charges Monday morning. “One of the things we look at is who can benefit from calling this in,” Halferty said. The arrest warrant for Meloche is for two counts of false reporting of the placement of an explosive or incendiary device.
By Randy Van, KCOB