Georgia Man Pleads Guilty to SSA Bomb Threat

May 21, 2024


SSA Office Evacuated Due to Hoax by Disgruntled Recipient

Atlanta – Keyon Tishaye Dickens, 38, a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient, who threatened employees at the Social Security Administration (SSA) field office in Augusta, Georgia, pled guilty to Using a Telephone to Make a Threat to Injure a Person or Damage a Building by Explosives.

According to court documents, SSA informed Dickens in July and September 2023 that he had received too much money from SSA and that SSA intended to recoup a certain amount of the funds from his future checks. In response to the letters he had received from SSA, Dickens telephoned a customer service representative at the SSA field office in Augusta on October 10, 2023.

Dickens called the office to complain and stated he was “sick of SSA doing things to his check, so he was going to blow up the SSA building.” Later in the call he stated, “I’m going to shoot the office up and I’m going to blow it up. I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do.”

With a backpack in his possession, Dickens followed his phone threat with a visit to the same office later that day showing a note that read, “I have a bomb,” to the security officer. The security officer notified the Richmond County’s Sheriff’s Office. The SSA Augusta field office was locked down and evacuated. No bomb was located, and the Richmond County deputies took Dickens into custody.

“Threats against SSA employees and property will not be tolerated. SSA employees provide critical services to the public and should never have to face threats as they carry out their official duties. My office will continue to make their safety our highest priority,” said Gail S. Ennis, SSA Inspector General.

“Social Security is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our employees, who work tirelessly to serve the public, and the members of the public who visit our offices every day. We’re grateful to law enforcement for their swift response and thorough investigation in this case,” said SSA Commissioner Martin O’Malley.

The SSA Office of the Inspector General, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined the sheriff’s office in the investigation leading to Dickens’ indictment and prosecution by Assistant U.S. Attorney George J.C. Jacobs in the Southern District of Georgia. Inspector General Ennis commended the investigators and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their efforts in this investigation and prosecution.

The plea subjects Dickens to a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.

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