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Bomb threat suspect arrested

By Staff | Jan 8, 2011

A Lehigh Acres teen has been changed with making a false bomb threat after investigators say he made multiple calls saying a bomb had been placed in the Fort Myers Juvenile Detention Center.
Jose Enrique Balbona, 16, was arrested and charged with four counts of making a false bomb threat after he was linked to four calls made Thursday, officials said.
He had already been on probation for making a false bomb threat, stemming from an arrest in June, 2010. He was taken into custody without incident.
The latest incident began Thursday, Jan. 6, when, at approximately 4:08 p.m., Lee County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call from an anonymous person indicating a bomb had been placed in the Fort Myers Juvenile Detention Center. No other information was provided by the caller.
Due to the nature of the threat, deputies from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Fort Myers Police Department responded to both the Juvenile Assessment Center in downtown Fort Myers and the Juvenile Detention Center on Ortiz Avenue in Fort Myers.
No explosive devices were found at either location.
Over the next two hours, three additional bomb threats were called into dispatch by the same caller. Each threat repeated the first threat of a bomb in the Juvenile Detention Center. Investigators were able to determine the calls were being made from Lehigh Acres, with the first two being traced to cell towers in the area of Ansel Avenue, and the second two coming from both Wallace Avenue and Douglas Avenue in Lehigh Acres.
Detectives with Lee County Sheriff’s Office Echo (Central) District Criminal Investigation Division assumed the case.
During the course of the investigation, detectives developed information of a possible suspect, identified as Jose Enrique Balbona. Balbona resides at 2435 Ansel Avenue S in Lehigh Acres, which is located right by the area of Ansel Avenue to where two of the threats had been traced. officials said. In addition, Balbona was arrested for making bomb threats at East Lee County High School in June of 2010. Investigators met with Balbona, and while at his residence, located a phone that had the same number as the one used by the suspect making the threats. Investigators determined Balbona’s voice was the same voice as the individual who called 9-1-1 and made the threats, officials said.

Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office