St. Simons Island man gets time served for bomb threat to New York IRS office

(Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images) (Chris Hondros, 2008 Getty Images)

A 34-year-old Glynn County man accused of threatening to blow up an Internal Revenue Service office in New York was sentenced to time served and placed on three years of supervised release.

Benjamin Stasko, of St. Simons Island, had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of Interstate Transmission of a Threat to Injure and since his arrest in July 2020, has been in federal custody for a total of 21 months -- slightly longer than the period of custody recommended under federal sentencing guidelines.

“Benjamin Stasko’s sentence includes a requirement for substance abuse treatment, which tackles the rationale behind his ill-advised, dangerous threat,” said U.S. Attorney David H. Estes. “Considering the massive law enforcement response generated by his actions, it’s fortunate that the episode ended safely.”

Stasko admitted that on July 6, 2020, he posted a comment on a federal agency’s website, alleging that a pipe bomb had been planted in the Ted Weiss Federal Building in New York, New York, as a threat directed toward the Internal Revenue Service. Federal Protective Service officers with bomb-sniffing dogs and officers from the New York Police Department searched the facility and found no explosives. Investigators later located and arrested Stasko in St. Simons.

“The safety of Internal Revenue Service employees and property is one of the statutory roles of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “Attempts to interfere with IRS employees engaged in the performance of their official duties are aggressively pursued. We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners in assisting to protect the integrity of federal tax administration.”

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; the New York Police Department; and the Glynn County Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys E. Gregory Gilluly Jr. and Joshua S. Bearden.