Today at 3:20pm, the New Orleans Police Department’s 9-1-1 service received a call from an unidentified man who said: “There is a bomb in the Marriott Hotel and it’s about to blow.”
All Marriott hotels in the downtown area were immediately notified, and officers were dispersed to inspect every floor of every hotel in search of anything that looked suspicious. An employee at the Marriott in the 500-block of Canal street then alerted management that there was a backpack in one of the bar areas that had been left unattended for some time. Once hotel guests and staff in that hotel were evacuated from the building, an NOPD canine was brought in and determined that there were no explosives in the backpack.
As law enforcement across the country is operating at a heightened security level due to the recent attacks in Boston, the following statements are being released:
New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Michael Anderson:
“I repeatedly stressed at Tuesday's press conference, standing shoulder to shoulder with our law enforcement partners and both federal and state prosecutors, bomb threats and hoaxes are acts of terror that are and will be investigated with the full weight of federal, state and local resources.
The high number of arrests and convictions in just the last 10 months, which I also referenced on Tuesday, is strong evidence of our tireless commitment to bring these offenders to justice”.
NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas:
"We appreciate that the public is contacting us when they see suspicious activity, and we encourage them to keep doing so, as this is a time of heightened alert. But let me be clear: those who cause unnecessary fear and inconvenience for our residents and visitors will be identified and face the maximum in state and federal penalties”.
Under Louisiana law, those convicted of making fake bomb threats can receive up to $10,000 in fines and up to 20 years of hard labor in prison.
Louisiana law also states that those convicted of creating fake explosive devices can receive up to 5 years of hard labor in prison.
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NOPD Contact: Remi Braden
FBI Contact: Mary Beth Romig