A 25-year-old Princeton man has been charged with a series of bomb threats that slowed Princeton to a crawl nearly four years ago.
Shane Curtis Braaten, 25, was charged Wednesday in Mille Lacs county District Court with three felony counts of terroristic threats, with reckless disregard to risk. Braaten is a familiar suspect when it comes to bomb scares in Princeton.
The charges stem from the incidents of Sept. 30, 2009, when Braaten allegedly placed suspicious packages resembling explosive devices at the doors of the Princeton Post Office, Princeton High School and the Princeton Utilities Commission.
The devices were found between 6 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2009. Their discovery resulted in the three buildings being evacuated and traffic being diverted throughout the city. Bomb squads from St. Paul and Crow Wing County were called to the city to dispose of the devices. All three devices were determined to be hoaxed devices.
The Princeton Police Department kept its investigation open the past four years. After continued follow-up on the case by the police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Braaten was identified as the suspect in the bomb scares.
Braaten has been held in the Mille Lacs County Jail since July 3 on an Arrest and Detain hold for 3rd degree burglary. He is also being detained while he awaits sentencing on a probation revocation stemming from a sentence associated with the June 2011 burglary at the Madre Loca Restaurant in Princeton.
During a Aug. 9, 2011 investigation into the Madre Loca burglary, Princeton Police executed a search warrant at Braaten’s residence at 103 Old 18 Circle, Princeton.Police found an object that appeared to be an explosive or incendiary device. The discovery resulted in the evacuation of a Princeton neighborhood. A bomb squad was also called to the scene. Charges of possession/manufacturing an explosive device were eventually dismissed.
Braaten eventually pleaded guilty to felony burglary charges in connection with the Madre Loca burglary. He was sentenced to 10 years probation, a $50 fine and a stayed sentence of a year and one day in prison. Braaten was sentenced for possession of materials used to manufacture methamphetamine. Materials used in the manufacturing of meth were found in Braaten’s room at 103 Old 18 Circle, Princeton, when police executed the Aug. 9, 2011 search warrant.
In October, 2012, Braaten was in trouble with the court for violating his probation. Braaten allegedly walked away from a court-ordered chemical dependency programs on three separate occasions, admitted to drug use or alcohol consumption on six separate occasions (the court ordered he could not use or possess either as terms of his probation), and he also failed to keep his address updated with the court, which was also in violation of his probation.
Braaten has had sentences amended for violating his probation three times since January. On January 23 he was sentenced to serve 173 days for the drug possession charge. On May 21 he was sentenced to another 115 days on drug possession charges. He was sentenced to time served on both occasions. Also on May 21, Braaten was sentenced to a year and a day in the St. Cloud Correctional facility. His probation was reinstated and his sentence stayed for five years.
On July 3 another probation violation report was filed with the court and a warrant issued for Braaten’s arrest. Another probation revocation hearing is set for September 20.