Cleveland, OH - A Pennsylvania man was indicted in federal court after making threats to shoot students at Parma High School. Russell D. Miley-Cruz, 21, of Scranton, was indicted on one count of transmission of an interstate threat and one count of obstruction of justice. He was arrested Friday.
Miley-Cruz communicated a threat on April 11, 2018 via Snapchat. The threat stated: “Don’t go to Parma High School tomorrow friend, we are about to shoot that (expletive) up alright man? Don’t tell cops and you will be fine,” according to the indictment.
Miley-Cruz, between April 11 and May 1, 2018, provided a false phone number to law enforcement, denied using a specific email address and Snapchat user name, and made other false statements for the purposes of hindering and delaying the law enforcement investigation into the threats made against Parma High School, according to the indictment.
“This defendant made threats that caused panic and led to hundreds of students missing classes at Parma High School,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “This case is another reminder that making threats, online or in person, is always a bad idea.”
“Making threats to commit a school shooting are not taken lightly by law enforcement,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Smith. “This individual induced fear in school personnel, students and their parents at Parma High School and wasted valuable law enforcement resources, and then he lied about being involved. Miley-Cruz will now answer to federal charges in a court of law. #Thinkbeforeyoupost.”
Parma Police Chief Joseph Bobak said: "This individual caused fear and panic in our community by targeting and threatening school children. These threats affected students and staff at Parma High School for several days as frightened parents pulled their kids out of school. Parma Police detectives, working alongside special agents from the FBI, diligently pursued all available leads on this case culminating in today's arrest. I would like to thank the FBI for working together with our department to identify and arrest this individual. Without their assistance and resources, this outcome might not have been possible."
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant's role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Parma Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Patton.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.