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Court documents: Missouri man threatened to bomb several Jewish sites

Posted at 7:22 PM, Dec 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-02 20:22:30-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A federal complaint filed Friday ties a Missouri man to several bomb threats made to Jewish sites in the Kansas City area and Washington D.C. over the summer. 

Ford Kevin Coots, 25, is charged with assaulting a federal officer in the investigation. 

According to court documents, the first threat was made on April 24 against the Ohev Shalom Synagogue in Washington D.C. A man using an Internet-based telephone service said 66 bombs would go off at that location within the week. 

Federal agents were able to trace the IP address associated with the call to a woman in Kingsville, Mo.  According to court documents, however, the woman and man living in the home denied ever making the threatening phone calls. 

Then, in early July, an unknown man made two phone calls to the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park. The man identified himself as Joseph Holloway and said he was going to bomb the building. 

That same day, an unknown man called the Beth Shalom synagogue in Overland Park and threatened to blow up the building. Another threat was left by voicemail at the Kol Ami Synagogue in Kansas City. 

Later that afternoon, a man identifying himself as Ford Joseph Holloway submitted an online tip to the FBI. In the tip, he said he was the “mastermind behind the Jewish synagogue bomb threats.” He told the FBI where he lived and told them to try to arrest him, but to “be prepared for a fight as I will be armed and attempt to rake some of you down before you kill me…” 

He also said he planned to blow up the FBI headquarters. 

A day later, the FBI was contacted by the woman living in the home they originally investigated in Kingsville. The woman said she had an adult son, Ford Kevin Coots, who she believed was capable of making the threats. She said her son suffered mental health issues after his father’s suicide in 2008 and that Coots also uses the name Ford Joseph Holloway. 

FBI agents later spoke to Coots on the phone, but he denied being the person who had left threatening messages at various synagogues. 

In August, the FBI reviewed Coots’ phone records. Court documents say the records showed Coots' phone was used to make calls to each Jewish site that received threatening calls.  

Weeks later, federal agents went to Coots' home to execute a search warrant. They found him in the back room with a shovel in his hands in an "aggressive stance," according to court documents. 

Court documents say Coots swung the shovel and hit an agent in the hand, causing his gun to fire. Agents left the room and threw in pepper spray. Coots reportedly grabbed a bottle with an unknown liquid inside and what looked like a fuse attached. 

The agents told Coots to drop the bottle or they would shoot him. Court documents say Coots told agents to “just shoot and kill” him. 

The agents were able to subdue Coots and take him into custody without further incident. 

According to federal court records, Coots has not yet been charged with anything connected to the threats made against the synagogues. 

If convicted of assaulting a federal officer, Coots could face up to 20 years in prison.