A letter that arrived at the federal courthouse in Miami on May 10 warned there were explosives in the building and the threat was serious.
"Im not crazy," it stated. "This is no damn joke."
Federal authorities took the remarks seriously, too. Late last week, the FBI arrested 24-year-old Florida inmate Noah Stirn, charging him with authoring the threats to the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Courthouse in downtown Miami and four other government buildings across Florida.
According to an affidavit by Special Agent Alex Nogueiras Jr., the U.S. District Court in Pensacola was the first to receive a threatening letter from Stirn. Workers there received a piece of mail May 8 stating judges were being followed home and should resign from their jobs or be "viciously murder[ed]" by gang members. It demanded a $50,000 wire transfer within two weeks, adding there were explosives already inside the building on a timer. The letter was signed with Stirn's name and used his Florida inmate number.
In the Miami letter two days later, the author — again identifying himself as Stirn — wrote that he'd found a way to get a bomb inside the judicial chambers and planned "to assassinate Magistrate Judge P. White" for unspecified "political wrongdoing." (Magistrate Patrick White no longer serves in the Southern District of Florida.)
The next week, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Pensacola and a nearby office of the Social Security Administration both received letters allegedly signed by Stirn saying there were explosives in the buildings. The letter to the Social Security Administration stated, "this is a direct threat on the U.S. Government." Both buildings were evacuated and swept by Pensacola Police Department K-9 units.
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The FBI says Stirn's last letter was directed to Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee in Tallahassee. The note said explosives and pipe bombs had been placed in the office and that a car bomb was intended for Lee.
The affidavit makes no mention of actual explosives being found in the offices that received the letters.
On May 17, federal agents interviewed Stirn at a state prison in the Panhandle, where he is serving a 10-year sentence on charges of witness tampering and grand theft of a motor vehicle. According to the affidavit, Stirn admitted to writing and mailing the letters, telling investigators he disagreed with various policies of the U.S. government and wanted change. He told the agents he would continue to mail the letters; prison employees turned over four outgoing letters from Stirn addressed to federal courthouses in Panama City, Gainesville, and Tallahassee, as well as one to the federal Public Defender's Office in Pensacola.
Stirn now faces charges of mailing interstate threats to injure and sending interstate threats involving explosives. So far, there is no attorney listed for Stirn in court records.