Student federally charged for making bomb threats against University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas

A University of St. Thomas student was arrested Tuesday and is now facing federal charges for allegedly making a series of hoax bomb threats against the university. 

U.S. District Attorney Erica MacDonald announced federal charges against Ray Ghansham Persaud, 20, of Blaine, Minnesota for calling in bomb threats to St. Thomas on three separate dates over the last year. 

According to the charges, Persaud called the university three times the morning of April 17 making bomb threats, at one point specifically mentioning McNeely Hall on the St. Paul campus. 

The university evacuated and closed the entire St. Paul campus, including the child care center, in one of the buildings, as they searched for suspicious objects. 

On Aug. 20, Persaud called the university again and said there was a bomb in the John Roach Center. The university evacuated and closed the building for the day. 

The FBI, who was working with the St. Paul Police Department to investigate the bomb threats, determined the calls in both instances came from a Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, telephone number through an app called TextMe, which allows users to have multiple telephone numbers. 

On Sept. 7, Persaud called St. Thomas through a different VOIP app and stated there were bombs in the four buildings on the St. Paul campus: the O’Shaughnessy Science Center, the John Roach Center, the Anderson Student Center and the Facilities Design Center. The university evacuated all four buildings. 

Investigators traced the Sept. 7 calls to Persaud’s home address in Blaine. 

St. Thomas President Sullivan said in a statement she is "relieved" a suspect has been identified in the case and that the campus community is not in danger. She said Persaud is a third-year student who commutes to the school from his home in Blaine. 

Sullivan said Persaud is suspended while the school conducts its disciplanary process and is not allowed on either campus for the time being. If found responsible, he will be expelled. 

Persaud will make his first court appearance Tuesday at 2 p.m.