Officials with the John Amos Power Plant are offering a $50,000 reward for information about the people responsible for a string of bomb threats against the Putnam County plant.
John Amos has received five threats within the last four weeks, with the most recent on Monday, said Joe Haynes, the plant’s community-relations manager.
The plant also received threats on Oct. 23, 24, 28 and 30, he said.
“The Oct. 23 one was phoned in to one of the contractors,” Haynes said. “The others were written on the walls of bathroom facilities in graffiti. Once somebody sees it and reports it we have to take it seriously.”
This is not the first time the Appalachian Power plant, which is an operating unit of American Electric Power, has received bomb threats.
Employees were evacuated twice last summer after threats were found written on the walls in the plant’s bathroom, Haynes said.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, the State Police and the FBI are involved in the investigation.
A bomb threat is defined as a “threat of terrorist acts,” which is a felony offense under state law and is also a federal offense. Under state law, a person found guilty can be fined from $5,000 to $25,000 and sentenced to one to three years in jail.
State Police swept the plant’s parking lots on Thursday, Haynes said, and a number of drug-related citations were issued. State Police would not comment Tuesday and directed media inquiries to the plant.
Haynes said police theorize that individuals are making the threats to avoid submitting to random drug testing. He said all plant employees and contractors are randomly tested.
There are about 3,000 contractors working at the plant to install a scrubber within the plant’s power-generating unit. There are also about 400 Amos, AEP and independent workers on site.
The threats were made by people “on the inside,” Haynes said.