Suspect in Threat to Upper Merion Schools Arrested in Canada

The Upper Merion Police Department has released information regarding the arrest of a suspect connected to the tweet sent last evening that threatened schools in the Upper Merion School District. The suspect was arrested in Montreal, Canada and no connection to the Upper Merion School District has been established.

Here is the announcement from the police department:

On Thursday, January 17, 2019 at about 10:20 PM, the Upper Merion Township police and the Upper Merion Area School District became aware of a threatening tweet that was sent to the Twitter account of Upper Merion Area School Superintendent, Dr. John Toleno. The threat specifically referenced an individual coming to the school with a gun to harm students.

The Upper Merion Police Department immediately started an investigation into this incident. This initial investigation revealed that the tweet was most likely sent from a Twitter account in Montreal Canada. Based on this fact, the Upper Merion Township Police Department requested and received assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

As a result of this joint investigation, a possible suspect was identified in Montreal, Canada. During the afternoon of January 18, 2019, the Police Department of the City of Montreal, in coordination with the FBI Legal Attaché Office in Ottawa, located the suspect and took him into custody for criminal violations of Canadian law. This suspect is currently being questioned by Canadian authorities. Based on what we know so far, we believe he is the person responsible for the threatening tweet that was sent to Dr. Toleno’s Twitter account.

At this point we do not know if this individual has any connection to the Upper Merion Area School District, nor do we know why he made the threat. We have no reason to believe that there is any active threat against the Upper Merion School District. Since this is still an ongoing investigation, no additional information will be released at this time.

As the investigation progresses, the evidence will be evaluated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for possible charges. The Upper Merion Township Police Department would like to commend the community for their quick response in their reporting of this incident and the Upper Merion Area School District for their decisive actions to keep the students and staff safe. We would also like to thank our law enforcement partners in the United States and Canada for their prompt and thorough assistance in this matter, which allowed us to bring it to a successful conclusion in such a short time period.

Will continue to cover this story when new information is available.