Highland Park auto plant worker threatened to 'blow up' building, feds allege

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

An employee of a Highland Park auto parts factory is accused of threatening to "end it all" by blowing up the plant and "take hundreds of people with me," according to federal court documents. 

Antoine Reese Thomas, 29, is accused of making multiple threats this week against the Faurecia Automotive Seating plant through a third-party texting application, according to a federal criminal complaint filed Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. 

The ATF alleges Thomas texted the first bomb threat to a supervisor of temporary workers at the factory on July 17.

The message, according to federal agents, noted in part that the sender had "suicide thoughts" and warned I'm "at the end of my rope." 

"...but before I make my move, im going to take hundreds of people with me so im going to blow up fercuria plant I don’t know if I want to do it tomorrow or Sunday but its going to happen don’t nobody understand ... so im going to end it this way sorry but you being warned," the message read. 

The supervisor immediately notified company officials and Highland Park police of the threat and investigators determined the sender used a third-party texting application. 

At about 2:18 p.m. Monday, the factory supervisor reported a second threat, this time suggesting "today its going to happen" and "you will never know the time," according to the complaint. 

"...im going to end it all and why not go out with a bang so we will be taking the whole building down today," it read. 

Police were able to trace the devices used in making the threats to a Detroit residence. 

After obtaining a search warrant, investigators placed the house under surveillance. On Tuesday, police saw a woman leaving the home and detained and questioned her, according to court documents.

The woman told police her son's father, later identified as Thomas, had been staying with her at the home, worked for Faurecia and that she knew he'd used a third-party texting application in the past. She said Thomas was at her home on the dates the threats were made. During her interview with investigators, the woman noted that  Thomas was alone at her home.

Thomas was later taken into custody while leaving the house. Police searched Thomas and recovered a Samsung mobile phone. Two other cell phones and two Internet routers were seized from inside the home.

A third bomb threat, warning "I will blow up the building" had been made against the auto parts factory just before Thomas' arrest, the complaint notes. 

The final message, according to the federal filing, went on to threaten "a mass shooting" as "revenge" on claims the sender had been bullied.

Investigators said they determined all three of the messages had been sent from the same Internet Protocol address.

ATF agents in the complaint said they are seeking to charge Thomas with transmitting communications containing a threat, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez