Candler County sheriff’s deputies arrested two juveniles Tuesday in connection to an online threat posted Sunday.
While the Snapchat message did not specifically refer to any schools, it did mention a possible shooting, said Candler County Sheriff John Miles. In light of several other recent online threats posted across the region involving schools, Miles assigned additional deputies to the Metter area schools Monday and Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Candler sheriff’s deputies arrested two suspects, ages 12 and 14, he said. Both are charged with terroristic threats, conspiracy to commit a crime, and disrupting operation of a public school.
Miles said he was made aware of the online threat around 10 p.m. Sunday, and even though the post was not specific, it was “perceived as a threat to our local schools.”
The response was immediate, he said.
“Investigators began working with the Candler County school system on a plan of action.”
Additional deputies patrolled the schools while investigators followed leads and conducted interviews. The investigation led to the arrests Tuesday.
Miles said such serious threats, even if meant as a prank, will be taken seriously.
“I hold the safety of our community, including the schools, as top priority,” he said. “When I was notified about the online threat, my investigators were already working the case.”
He praised everyone involved in the investigation and said anyone committing such crimes will be prosecuted.
“I would like to commend our investigators and those who assisted in the investigation of the complex case,” he said. “Behavior such as this will not be tolerated. Those involved in such crimes can expect to be held accountable.”
Miles said his investigators were assisted by state and federal agencies, Internet providers, social media companies, and numerous local law enforcement agencies including Bulloch, Evans and Tattnall county sheriff’s offices and the Statesboro Police Department.
Other similar online threats took place within the past week at Statesboro High School, Emanuel County Institute and Bradwell Institute, according to reports. Police have not said the cases are related.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.