Richmond County man pleads guilty to a federal charge for bomb scare at Social Security office

May 21, 2024

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Georgia

AUGUSTA, GA:  A Richmond County man entered a guilty plea to a federal charge related to a bomb threat targeting the Social Security Administration’s Augusta office.

Keyon Tishaye Dickens, 38, of Augusta, pled guilty to Using a Telephone to Make a Threat to Injure a Person or Damage a Building by Explosives, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The plea subjects Dickens to a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.  

As described in the plea agreement, Dickens received a notice in September 2023 that the Social Security Administration intended to recoup overpayments to his Supplemental Security Income from future SSI checks. He called the Social Security Administration office in Augusta to complain and 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.”

Dickens later visited the office carrying a backpack and showed a note that read “I have a bomb” to a security officer. The officer notified the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and the building was locked down and evacuated. No bomb was found, and Richmond County deputies took Dickens into custody.

U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall will schedule sentencing for Dickens upon completion of a pre-sentence investigation by U.S. Probation Services.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney George J.C. Jacobs III.

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