FBI: FanX cofounder Bryan Brandenburg facing federal charges after bomb threats made against Utah sites

Dan Farr (left) and Bryan Brandenburg (far right) pose for photographs with Star Wars' star Mark Hamill at the 2016 Salt Lake City Comic Con festival. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

HONOLULU, Hawaii, May 25, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Bryan Melvin Brandenburg —  cofounder of Utah’s FanX, formerly called Salt Lake City Comic Con — made an initial appearance Tuesday in a Honolulu courtroom on federal charges alleging he sent emails threatening to bomb multiple Utah government offices and courts, among other locations.

A statement issued by the Department of Justice – District of Hawaii says Brandenburg, who is embroiled in divorce proceedings, reportedly sent emails to “court personnel in Utah threatening to bomb the 3rd District Courthouse in Salt Lake City, the mayor’s office, the Utah State Capitol, every Ivy League school, and the federal courthouse in San Diego.

“Multiple media persons in Utah also received email communications from Brandenburg on May 4 and May 6 threatening to bomb the Salt Lake City courthouse, ‘Hall Labs,’ and the University of Utah Center for Medical Innovation,” the statement says.

Brandenburg, 63 and currently living in Waipahu, Hawaii, was ordered detained pending a formal detention hearing on Friday.

The criminal complaint alleges that Brandenburg, “transmitted threats to injure another person and false threats to kill, injure and intimidate an individual, and to damage and destroy a building and other real property, by means of an explosive. The appearance followed Brandenburg’s arrest yesterday at his Waipahu residence.”

Clare E. Connors, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said “Sending threats to kill people or destroy property is a serious matter that we will investigate and prosecute. It does not matter if the threats are false or made to people and places outside of Hawaii. This conduct causes harm and is unlawful.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill also commented:

“This arrest confirms the FBI’s commitment in investigating threats of violence by means of an explosive to the fullest extent of the law,” he said. “Whether you threaten someone in Hawaii or elsewhere, the FBI will do whatever is necessary to protect the public to ensure their safety.”

Brandenburg is charged with:

  • Transmitting in interstate a communication containing a threat to injure the person of another
  • Conveying false threats through interstate commerce to kill, injure, or intimidate an individual or damage or destroy a building or other real property by means of an explosive

If indicted and convicted on those charges, Brandenburg faces maximum terms of imprisonment of five years on the count of threatening injury; and 10 years the six false bomb threat charge.


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