Clinton Garno, of Grand Island, who faces 39 charges for allegedly sending a suspicious package to the Hall County Election Office on Sept. 14, had his case bound over Monday to Hall County District Court.
Garno, 31, is charged with 38 counts of making terroristic threats, which is a Class IIIA felony. The other charge is threatening the use of explosives by placing a false bomb, which is a Class IV felony.
The suspicious package was delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to the Election Commission Office, which is located inside the Hall County Administration Building, 121 S. Pine St.
Law enforcement was called to the building at about 8:50 a.m. Sept. 14. A bomb technician from the Nebraska State Patrol determined that the package was not a bomb.
Inside the package was a small pump spray bottle filled with a blue liquid. The liquid was tested and determined not to be hazardous.
The package was about two and a half feet long and three inches wide. The bow-shaped box was wrapped in brown packing tape. Attached to the bottom of the package were three black foam cushions.
On the top of the package was a white envelope addressed to the Hall County Election Commission. A piece of paper inside the envelope carried a lewd expression and was signed “NWO.” The deputy who wrote the affidavit, in doing research, believes the acronym stands for New World Order.
The message was written on a voter registration form.
Forty-two people were working inside the Hall County Administration Building when the package was delivered. Everyone in the building was evacuated to a safe location.
The affidavit, written by Hall County Deputy Travis Sturgill, says the employees reported to law enforcement and management that they felt terrorized by the suspicious package and the emergency evacuation. “Even days later some employees are still terrorized from the traumatic experience,” the affidavit indicates.
Each of the 38 counts lists the name of a person who was inside the building at the time.
The FBI, which assisted with the investigation, determined that the voter registration card and envelope were mailed to Garno’s residence, which is directly southeast of the Hall County Attorney’s office.
A surveillance camera is located on the east side of the Hall County Attorney’s Office. The camera shows the west side of the six-plex apartment complex in which Garno lives. Looking at surveillance video, Sturgill writes in the affidavit, he saw Garno exit the residence on Sept. 10 with what appeared to be a long brown box in his hands.
In response to the affidavit, Hall County Judge Alfred Corey signed a warrant allowing Garno’s residence and vehicle to be searched. Garno’s address is listed as 242 S. Pine St.
“It is unknown at this time if Clinton Garno sent this package to the Election Commission Office as a ‘trial run” to see if it could be delivered to the Election Commission Office through the U.S. Postal Service,” according to the affidavit. “If this was a ‘trial run,’ it was successful because the package was delivered. If a second package is delivered, it may contain an explosive device.”
Bond was set at $900,000 for Garno at his Sept. 25 arraignment. He remains at the Hall County Jail.
Judge Corey scheduled Garno’s District Court arraignment for 9 a.m. Nov. 10.
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