Nye County man accused of threatening 2 U.S. House members

Updated April 11, 2018 - 3:57 pm

A Nevada man is facing serious charges after allegedly making recorded threats against two members of the U.S. House Representatives.

Thomas Shea was arrested on March 20, after Nye County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Perry in Tonopah received information from an FBI agent, according to a declaration of arrest document.

The representatives were identified as Congresswoman Jackie Speier from California’s 14th Congressional District and Congressman Eric Swalwell from California’s 15th Congressional District.

“The recording stated that he was going to cause physical harm involving a gun,” Perry stated in the document. “Agent Perez verified the cell phone number the calls were made from. Agent Perez had also pinged the cell phone on two separate occasions and the cell phone was located in Tonopah, Nevada both times.

After confirming the phone number, Perry, along with two deputies, were unsuccessful in making contact with Shea at his residence.

A neighbor explained to deputies that Shea was not at home, but at work.

“We left and made contact with Thomas at his work,” Perry noted in the arrest document. “During the interview, I asked if his phone number was the following. Thomas said yes. I asked if someone lives with him, and if he called anyone in California on Sunday, March 18. Thomas said no to both questions. I also asked if he was with anyone on Sunday. Thomas said no.”

The document went on to state that Shea denied threatening the two U.S. representatives, while also claiming that he had no knowledge of who they were.

Additionally, the March 20 document noted that Shea claimed his phone had been shut off, but he had it reactivated within the last week and a half.

Deputy Perry then requested to look at the phone’s call history, to which Shea agreed.

“The oldest calls on his call history were made on March 19, 2018,” Perry’s reported stated. “I asked if he erased any of the call history, and Thomas said no.”

Perry then verified, with the assistance of Sgt. Puckett, that Shea did not have a home telephone.

“Sgt. Puckett called Thomas’s cell phone while we were sitting at the table,” he said. “I looked at the phone and verified that it was Sgt. Puckett’s phone that was calling. I asked if Thomas would go with me to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office so he could also listen to the recordings. Thomas complied. I also informed Thomas that he was not under arrest at that time.”

“Upon arrival to the sheriff’s office, Sgt. Puckett played the recordings and we told Thomas it sounded like his voice,” Perry noted. “Thomas stated it did not sound like him. Throughout the interview, Thomas continued to state that he did not make the phone calls. I asked Thomas to help prove his innocence and if we could seize his computer for evidence.”

After initially agreeing, the document noted that Shea had requested an attorney.

“I stopped the interview and read Thomas his Miranda rights,” Perry noted. “I asked Thomas again after I read him his rights if he was still willing to voluntarily give me his computer, but Thomas refused.”

It was then that Perry escorted Thomas to the booking area of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, where he was charged with two counts of intimidating a public officer.

Bail was set at $10,000 cash or bond. Shea works in Tonopah.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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