BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — Sheriff Dave Lucas has a message for the person who made Tuesday’s bomb threat to Belmont College: “I have a room ready for you here at the jail.”

He says a bomb threat is not a joke or a prank; it’s a felony.

Sheriff Lucas recalls an incident when a person called in a bomb threat to keep officers distracted while he robbed a bank.

Belmont County Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan says in this week’s case, the charge of inducing panic would be a second-degree felony and carry an eight-year maximum sentence because it happened at a school or institution of higher learning. 

He said it is considered a serious offense, and that one person from Belmont County is currently serving an eight-year prison term for an inducing panic conviction.