Suspects from Ball, Winnfield, Jonesboro arrested for imitation explosives
The State Fire Marshal’s Office has arrested a woman and two men for creating and planting imitation explosive devices at two north Louisiana school campuses and using a similar device during the robbery of a check-cashing business.
Tabitha Gray, 42, of Ball, was booked into the Bienville Parish Jail on one count each of principal to fake explosive device and criminal conspiracy.
Lacentrusa Mayweather, 47, of Winnfield, has been booked into the Bienville Parish Jail on one count each of fake explosive device, criminal conspiracy, and criminal trespassing.
Paul Nash Jr., 41, of Jonesboro, has been booked into the Bienville Parish Jail on one count each of principal to fake explosive device, criminal conspiracy, and criminal trespassing.
All three will be booked into the Natchitoches Parish Jail in the coming days on the same charges, in addition to terrorizing, communicating of false information of planned bombing on school property for Nash and Principal to Communicating of False Information of Planned Bombing on School Property for Mayweather and Gray.
On April 2, the suspects placed a fake bomb on the campus of Lakeview High School in Campti, then called in a bomb threat. The suspicious object was located and removed from the campus without incident or injury. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident in connection with a bank robbery in town the same day.
On April 16, the Bienville Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of the SFM explosive ordnance detection (EOD) K-9 team in sweeping the Castor High School campus in Castor. During the investigation of a nearby bank robbery, detectives learned of credible information that a threatening device was on the campus. The suspicious object was located and removed from the campus without incident or injury the following day after one of the suspects directed investigators to its location.
In interviews with investigators, the suspects admitted to creating and placing the fake devices in both locations as distractions to law enforcement in their business-robbing schemes.
The male suspects are also pending booking into the Winn Parish Jail for a February robbery involving a fake bomb at a check-cashing business in Winnfield. The charges pending against Mayweather and Nash there are the communication of false bombing, fake explosive device, and criminal conspiracy.
The investigation into additional crimes is on-going in collaboration with multiple other law enforcement agencies. Various additional charges have already been brought against the suspects by those agencies and more charges are possible.
The SFM would like to thank the Bienville Sheriff’s Office, Bienville Fire District #6, Louisiana State Police Emergency Services Unit (Bomb Squad), Shreveport Fire Department, Natchitoches Sheriff’s Office and Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office for their partnership in closing these cases.