Man who falsely said a family member was a terrorist facing time in prison

A family feud that spun out of control last year ended last week when a Clackamas man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to making two anonymous calls to officials to falsely report that a family member traveling through the airport was a terrorist.

Sonny Donnie Smith, 38, admitted last Thursday in court to making the harassing calls,.

“The safety and security of our nation’s airports and travelers are of paramount importance to law enforcement, and we will continue to swiftly and thoroughly investigate all threats of terrorism,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “False reports intended to harass others waste law enforcement time and resources and will be prosecuted accordingly.”

According to court documents, Smith admitted to making two anonymous telephone calls to security offices at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nev. and Midland International Air and Space Port in Midland, Tex.

In both calls, Smith falsely reported that a family member traveling through the airport was a terrorist. An investigation revealed no real terrorist threat and that Smith made the calls because of a family feud.

In a press release, Williams said officials “quickly found his harassment was far from anonymous.”

Smith faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 10.

–Tom Hallman Jr.

thallman@oregonian.com; 503 221-8224

@thallmanjr

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