A man accused of making more than 400 false bomb threats in Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties was sentenced Monday to 11 to 21 years in prison.
Cody Matthew Startt, 27, of Matoaka, W.Va., pleaded guilty to 253 counts of terrorism and 251 counts of making false bomb reports.
Startt faces similar charges in Caldwell and Catawba counties. His arrest report listed him as unemployed and homeless, the Morganton News Herald has reported.
The threats began May 21 to businesses and other groups. District Attorney David Learner said Startt perpetrated a “reign of terror” in the community that police say cost local businesses $3 million to $4 million, the Observer’s news partner WBTV reported.
Startt was arrested on July 6 in West Virginia by Hickory police, the FBI and West Virginia State Police.
Following his arrest, Startt admitted violating terms of his probation by absconding from supervision, being in arrears of court debts and failing to complete court-directed community service, prosecutors said.
Startt had been on probation for conviction on three counts of making false bomb threats in May 2015.
Startt apologized in court Monday, WBTV reported, saying he was “young and dumb.”