Prescott AZ (August 6, 2020) – In the mid-afternoon hours, of July 26, 2020, an unidentified subject called the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center and stated, “there is a bomb in the building,” and quickly hung up. Due to the broad, nondescript nature of the threat, operations at the Yavapai County Jails in Prescott, and in Camp Verde, as well as the Chino Valley Police Department were severely diminished or shut down for several hours.
A Specially trained group of Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputies in the Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) Program were assigned to investigate the origin of the threat. TLO’s have access to resources through a network of law enforcement agencies that aid in gaining intelligence on terrorist related matters. In the days to come, they continued the follow up investigation on the phone used to call in the threat which revealed the suspect to be 29-year-old Jake Ruether previously from the Prescott area.
Further investigation revealed Ruether had made bomb threats against other jails, police departments and court houses in Kansas where he also has ties. Furthermore, Ruether made several threats to individuals and he threatened to shoot up schools.
The deputies then worked with the United States Marshal’s Service to attempt to locate Ruether in order to take him into custody. As a result, they were able to locate him in Trinidad, Colorado.
On August 5, 2020, in a combined effort with the United States Marshal’ Service, and local and state police in Colorado, they were able to verify Ruether was in fact at a residence in Trinidad, CO. A team of officers contacted Ruether at the front door of the residence. Upon seeing the officers, Ruether attempted to flee inside the home. The officers gave chase and after a brief scuffle, Ruether was taken into custody.
Ruether is facing charges of Making Terrorist Threats, False Reporting, Use of Electronic Device to Terrify, and Threatening. Ruether is currently in the Las Animas County Jail in Colorado awaiting extradition back to Yavapai County on another outstanding warrant.
Supervisor Deputy US Marshal John Buckley added, “A team effort between the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, The United States Marshals Service District of Arizona, District of Colorado and local law enforcement in Trinidad, Colorado is what lead to the apprehension of Jake Ruether. This is a great example of what can be accomplished when agencies across the country work together in protecting communities by bringing fugitives to justice.”
Once again, our Law Enforcement Professionals make us proud with a job well done.
A terrorism liaison officer (TLO) is an individual who serves as a point of contact for a public safety agency in matters related to terrorism information and intelligence. A TLO, though not necessarily an expert in terrorism, attends meetings when able and receives terrorism training, information, and intelligence from the local fusion center, online resources, and other entities engaged in homeland security initiatives. The TLO then educates others within his or her agency, thereby enhancing situational awareness, early warning, and operational readiness.