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Federal judge sentences man to 5 years in prison for trying to blow up Cuyahoga Falls High School in 2020

Posted at 3:07 PM, Dec 08, 2021

CLEVELAND — A man who was arrested in February 2020 for trying to blow up Cuyahoga Falls High School and later pleaded guilty to federal charges was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The defendant, Allen Martin Kenna, 20, of Cuyahoga Falls, previously pleaded guilty to attempted use of an explosive device and interstate communication of threats.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Kenna attempted to “use an explosive device to damage or destroy buildings and real property associated” with the high school.

Authorities said the defendant had been seen going into the school after the day ended and filming the inside of the building, as well as asking school staff questions about the building, police resource officers and school operations.

On Jan. 8, 2020, police searched Kenna's home after receiving a tip that he planned to attack the high school. Inside his residence, police found various electronic devices, knives, ammunition and other items "to be used as components in the creation of an improvised explosive device." Furthermore, police found evidence on the defendant's computer that he discussed "plans, desires and research to carry out an attack" on the school. His internet search history in his phone showed searches for active shooters, weapon tactics and an "Isis time bomb," authorities said.

Additionally, it was discovered that on Nov. 13, 2019, he made phone calls to police in Manhattan, Kansas and claimed to be an active shooter inside an elementary school. Authorities there later realized the calls were a hoax after entering the school. Police tied Kenna to the incident after finding journal entries on his computer regarding the incident, authorities said.

“This defendant openly threatened to attack children while they attended classes at a local high school,” said U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan. “That he also engaged in reconnaissance efforts to prepare for such an attack and possessed the components, including ammunition, to construct the improvised explosive device he intended to use, demonstrates how very real this threat was for the children he targeted. The exceptional work of our local, state and federal partners prevented this attack. We remain grateful for their selfless dedication to protecting the residents of this District.”

"Mr. Kenna will now serve time behind bars for threatening two schools,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith. “Thanks to the awareness of private citizens and the hard work of our law enforcement partners, what could have been a horrific and tragic day was stopped. Law enforcement has no higher priority than protecting others. The FBI and our law enforcement partners urge parents, relatives and friends to report suspicious and troubling behavior to authorities immediately.”

RELATED: Teen charged for trying to blow up Cuyahoga Falls High School property, threatening school in Kansas

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