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Man charged with planning to bomb Warren County courthouse

Man charged with planning to bomb Warren County courthouse

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Joseph Lumetta

Joseph Lumetta was charged Jan. 29, 2020, with threatening to blow up the Warren County Courthouse. Photo courtesy of the Warren County Jail.

WARRENTON — A man has been charged after he built an explosive device and threatened to bomb the Warren County courthouse, according to court records obtained Monday.

Joseph Lumetta, 35, of Chantilly Court in Warrenton, was charged last week in Warren County Circuit Court with attempting to cause catastrophe.

Police learned Wednesday that Lumetta threatened over the past month that "people will pay" if "things don't go my way in court," according to court documents. It wasn't clear how he may have relayed the threat. Police believe he was referring to a court date scheduled for Feb. 27 to hear charges that he robbed a bank in April 2016.

He also allegedly threatened to blow up the courthouse, saying, "It will be like Timothy McVeigh," a reference to the man executed for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. 

Authorities said in court records that Lumetta had been using company tools and materials to build something in secret. Investigators later found a metal cylinder with welded end caps "consistent with the shell of a pipe bomb," according to a probable cause statement.

Lumetta purchased fertilizer and gathered metal shavings, according to court records.

He was being held without bond.

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