On Wednesday, 21 year old Cole Peacock was charged with falsely obtaining a credit card from Citibank, charging a large amount on the card and then paying Citibank with fraudulent checks. As detectives were finalizing those arrest warrants Thursday afternoon, Peacock’s defense attorney warned him he was going to be arrested.
Just before 6 p.m. Wednesday, Detective Sgt. Dave Carey, who was working on the case, began receiving emails. The emails appeared to be from other members of the Sheriff’s Office. Out of the 78 such emails he received, four said “DEATH DEATH DOOM DOOM YOU HAVE A BOMB AT ONE OF YOU SUBSTATIONS BETTER FIND IT SOON.” Ten of them said “death death you will die.”
During a past investigation of Peacock, in February 2013, Peacock was charged with computer related crimes during which he showed Sheriff’s detectives how he could “spoof” Sheriff’s Office emails. “Spoofing” is creation of email messages with a forged sender address.
Detective Sgt. Carey suspected the emails were from Peacock. When he and Detective Robert Dosh showed up at Peacock’s home on Azalea Street Thursday evening, Peacock threatened the officers with what turned out to be an EpiPen, then stabbed himself in the neck with it. He struggled with officers who took him into custody on the outstanding warrants and on charges of resisting arrest and aggravated assault.
His computer was then seized, and his father was questioned about his son’s activities that afternoon. His father said Peacock had been pacing all afternoon, into and out of a room where his computer was set up. He said no one except himself, his son and his daughter were at home.
Further investigation revealed the IP address which created the threatening emails belonged to a modem assigned to Peacock’s house. The modem was shown to have been active at the house at the time the emails were sent. The modem was in the same room as Peacock’s computer – the room he’d been in and out of all afternoon.
Thorough searches were done at all Sheriff’s Office buildings to ensure no bombs were hidden anywhere. None were found. Peacock, who was already in jail, was charged with four counts making false reports of planting a bomb, explosive or weapon of mass destruction against state owned property and 10 counts written threats to kill or do bodily injury.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also involved in investigating the case and may bring federal charges against Peacock in the future as well.