Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Florida woman sentenced in 2010 cruise ship terror bomb hoax
A woman who triggered a full-scale search of a passenger cruise ship at the Port of Jacksonville, FL, after phoning in a bomb threat to the vessel in 2010 will spend a year in jail for her actions.
Linda Gayle Wilson, 46, of Baldwin, FL, was sentenced in federal court on Oct. 9 to 12 months in federal prison for providing false information/hoaxes involving a bomb report to law enforcement. She pleaded guilty to the charges on July 3, 2012.
Wilson admitted to making a series of phone calls on May 10, 2010 to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department. In her last call to police, she claimed she was a female terrorist with a bomb on board a cruise ship about to arrive in the Port of Jacksonville (JAXPORT).
She told law enforcement officers she intended to detonate the bomb before the ship reached the port. Based on information provided by Wilson, officers identified the ship as the Carnival Fascination, which was due to return to the port’s cruise terminal on Mother’s Day after a cruise in the Caribbean, according to court documents.
At the time of the threat, the ship carried 2,404 passengers and 896 crew members on board.
Working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, JSO, and JAXPORT Security, crew members on the Fascination instituted ship-wide bomb search procedures.
Upon docking at JAXPORT, federal and local law enforcement officers boarded the cruise ship, conducted the search, but found no explosive devices. The subsequent investigation, said the FBI, determined Wilson was lying.