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Published: Thursday, 4/10/2008

Feds: Ohio man threatens to blow up buildings housing black celebrities

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio man has been indicted on charges that he threatened to blow up the U.S. Supreme Court and attack black men, including a justice on the court, according to an indictment filed in federal court in Cleveland on Wednesday.

David Tuason, 46, targeted black men known to affiliate with white women, well-known white women who had relationships with black men, and children of mixed-race parents, federal authorities said. Tuason sent approximately 200 threats, by mail and e-mail, over the course of 20 years, said acting U.S. Attorney William J. Edwards.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg confirmed that a threat was made against Clarence Thomas but refused further comment. Thomas is the only black justice on the court.

Edwards said a former Cleveland Cavaliers player and his family members were among those threatened, but he declined to name the player.

According to the indictment, one of the letters refers to an "LN," mentions the Cavaliers and was sent last year to a northeast Ohio high school.

The school is where the daughter of Larry Nance, a former All-Star who played for the Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns, is a student and accomplished athlete.

Attempts to reach Nance for comment late Wednesday were unsuccessful. A call to the Cavaliers, where Nance works, was not immediately returned, and there was no phone number listed for Nance.

Edwards said a well-known black singer who performed at Cleveland's Severance Hall was threatened in a letter sent Feb. 4. The letter was addressed to an "AJ," according to the indictment.

Al Jarreau, the Grammy-award winning jazz and R&B artist, was on the venue's schedule on Feb. 8. He was the only person with those initials listed for January or February shows on the venue's Web site.

A phone message seeking comment left after-hours Wednesday with Jarreau's Los Angeles publicist was not immediately returned.

FBI spokesman Scott Wilson declined to name those targeted, citing privacy issues. He would not specify whether Tuason attempted to carry out attacks. The threats began in Cleveland and branched out across the nation, Wilson said.

Wilson said the threats were sent to places where the targets worked or may have attended functions.

"It's been a very long, enduring case," Wilson said. "Basically it's a case we never gave up on."

An message seeking comment was left after-hours Wednesday at the Cleveland office of Federal Public Defender Dennis Terez, who authorities say is representing Tuason.

According to the indictment, Tuason sent a letter to the Supreme Court building in July 2003 in which he threatened to blow it up. The letter was addressed to an associate justice of the court referred to as "CT."

Tuason claimed "CT" would be "castrated, shot or set on fire...I want him killed."

The letter contained several racially charged remarks.

The indictment says letters were also sent to several other Ohio sites, including the Kent State University women's basketball team other high schools.

The earliest letter was sent to a high school track team in Mentor in May 2003, according to the document. The most recent threat, to a high school football team in Strongsville, was mailed March 3, according to the indictment.

Edwards said the statute of limitations prevents authorities from prosecuting cases that go back further than five years.

Investigators said Tuason also sent threatening e-mails to office personnel at Jordache Enterprises.

The threats he's accused of are mostly alike, promising physical violence against black men associated with white women.

Tuason, of Pepper Pike, Ohio, was indicted on two counts of transmitting threatening interstate communications and six counts of mailing threatening communications.

The indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland.

Tuason was arrested March 14 and is in the custody of U.S. Marshals. Each interstate communication charge carries a penalty of up to 10 year in prison and each mail charge carries a penalty of up to five years.

"As far as we know, it's a one-man operation," Wilson said.



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