Bomb threat suspect in custody

Just before noon on Monday, Dec. 1, a suspicious package wrapped in duct tape was found in a trash can outside the Bass Lake Courthouse causing an evacuation and closure of Road 274 near the courthouse.

As a precaution, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad was called to the courthouse to destroy whatever the device may have been.

The so-called suspicious device turned out to be a 3-foot long tube containing documents.

The individual who admitted to placing it there, Eric James Smrkovsky, 29, of Coarsegold, has a rap sheet dating back to 2006 in Madera County, with charges that include, burglary and narcotics, as well as driving under the influence of a controlled substance, and DUI.

Deputies located Smrkovsky in Oakhurst at around 2:30 p.m. – not far from Oakhurst Park.

Smrkovsky was booked into the Madera County Department of Corrections on misdamenaor suspicion of placing a false bomb. Bail was $1,000. According to jail records Smrkovsky was released. He’s expected to appear in Sierra Superior Court on Dec. 23, at 8:30 a.m.

- Staff Report