Let the screw tightening begin.

Scanlon woman charged with making bomb threats
By Tom Olsen Today at 5:28 p.m.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the motives of a Scanlon woman who allegedly made a number of bomb threats against law enforcement agencies and businesses in the Northland and beyond.

Amber Rose Schadewald, 18, was formally charged Friday in State District Court in Carlton with a felony count of making threats of violence.

Derek Randall, commander of the investigations division of the Cloquet Police Department, said it’s possible that her mental state played a role in the case.

“Based on our interview with the suspect, it appears as though she was getting some kind of gratification from making these threats, and it just got out of control,” Randall told the News Tribune.

The Cloquet Police Department on Monday received a message through Nixle, an online notification system that some law enforcement agencies utilize to issue public safety alerts and receive anonymous crime tips. The message stated that a bomb targeting the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office would be detonated on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., according to a criminal complaint.

Police subpoenaed records from an Internet service provider, tracking the message to a residence in Scanlon. Schadewald emerged as a suspect based on prior interactions with police as a juvenile, according to the complaint.

Randall was at the Carlton County Courthouse for an unrelated matter on Wednesday when he observed Schadewald sitting on a bench outside a courtroom. The woman agreed to give a statement, admitting that she had made the threat against the sheriff’s office, authorities said.

The complaint states that she also admitted to making similar threats against the Superior Police Department, Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies and businesses as far away as Minneapolis and Kansas City.

Schadewald was taken into custody after speaking with police and made an initial appearance in court on Friday. Police said there was no evidence that she ever possessed any explosive devices.

Randall said it appears Schadewald was placing her threats through various anonymous tipping methods such as Nixle and Crime Stoppers hotlines. He said investigators were still waiting for forensic processing of her digital devices.

Randall said the case amounted to abuse of anonymous tip lines. He stressed that citizens can submit information without fear of being identified, but said police have methods they can use to track down those committing crimes through sites such as Nixle.

“We want people to utilize these sites to submit information — and they can remain anonymous,” he said. “But if you’re going to commit threats of violence, that doesn’t mean we’re not going to be able to find out your identity.”

Schadewald was released from the Carlton County Jail on Friday after posting bail, according to online records. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $3,000 fine.

The charge pertains only to the alleged Carlton County threat. Randall said other agencies have been notified and additional charges could be pending.

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