Man charged with making false threat against ‘Belleville News-Democrat’

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. – The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office charged a 77-year-old Belleville man Wednesday for allegedly threatening to blow up a local newspaper’s headquarters.

On Monday, representatives with the Belleville News-Democrat contacted police to report a threat left on their voicemail.

According to police, the threat was specific in nature, detailing a plan to use “dynamite and fertilizer” to blow up the paper. The person making the threat also referenced a stockpile of material in their basement that they would use to carry out said threat.

By the following day, Belleville police identified and located the suspect, identified as Stewart Lannert. Detectives obtained a search warrant for Lannert’s home on S. 29th Street.

After searching Lannert’s residence, law enforcement determined he did not have the capacity to carry out the threat described in the voicemail to the BND.

Lannert was arrested and charged with falsely making a terrorist threat, harassment by telephone, and disorderly conduct. He remains jailed on a $75,000 bond.

Stewart Lannert

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