KC Man Charged With Threatening Water In Topeka, 3 Other Cities

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.(KAKE/WIBW) -- A 69-year-old man who spent time in prison for threatening to bomb the federal courthouse in Kansas City has been charged in connection to threats to contaminate the public water supplies of four cities, including Wichita.

Manuel Garcia of Kansas City was charged in federal court with attempting to extort money from the FBI related to a threat to contaminate the water supplies of Wichita, Topeka, Kansas City, and St. Louis, Mo., the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri said in a news release.

Authorities had previously acknowledged a threat to the water supplies in four Midwestern cities, but had declined to release details or identify the specific cities.

Garcia was arrested Friday and remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing.

Garcia allegedly made several telephone calls in which he claimed there was a threat to contaminate the public water supplies of those four cities. An FBI agent recognized Garcia’s voice on the phone calls, and agents contacted Garcia on Wednesday.

He told the federal agents that two of his acquaintances, named Raul and Shariff, were going to carry out the plan to put an unknown chemical into the water supply of the four cities. They had tested their plan out on some horses, Garcia said, and the animals went into convulsions and died. Garcia stated that for $10,000 and a grant of immunity he would attempt to locate Raul and Shariff.

The affidavit alleges that Garcia called the Kansas City Police Department Emergency Tips Hotline on Oct. 15 and claimed that the water supplies would be contaminated in the next 10 to 15 days with an unknown substance contained in four 55-gallon tanks.

On the same day, the affidavit says, Garcia called the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Joint Support Operations Center in Washington, D.C., with the same threat.

The Kansas City Star reports that in April of 2010, Garcia threatened to bomb the federal courthouse in Kansas City. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in that case.