California man sentenced to prison for phoning bomb threats to Planned Parenthood

A California man who phoned in bomb threats and left threatening voicemails to several Planned Parenthood offices has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

In June, Nishith Tharaka Vandebona, 34, of Oxnard, admitted to one felony count of transmitting threatening communications and one misdemeanor count of “threatened forcible intimidation regarding the obtaining and provision of reproductive health services under the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances,” according to the United States Department of Justice.

He’s remained in law enforcement custody since pleading guilty to the charges this summer.

Vandebona, who was living in Camarillo at the time, admitted to using an anonymous phone number to leave voice messages that contained death threats to multiple Planned Parenthood offices.

The threats were made in the wake of the United State Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe V. Wade decision, which ruled that women had a constitutional right to abortion. The controversial reversal of the decision led to mass protests, calls for Supreme Court Justices to resign, and massive outcry from Roe v. Wade supporters.

Within hours of the ruling, Vandebona left a threatening message, including death threats, to a Planned Parenthood Central Coast in the Santa Barbara area.

The next day he called another Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles and told a call center specialist “I’m calling to let you know that I’m going to come in there and kill all of you, including your staff and your security. You got it? You’re overdue for an attack,” according to court documents. Within an hour, he called that office again and made several death threats, including telling an employee, “I’m going to come in there and murder your staff.”

He also made vague threats to “kill as many white Americans as possible … Servicemen, families, everybody.

In February 2022, he called in a bomb threat to the office of Californians for Population Stabilization, a Ventura-based nonprofit organization that advocates for “zero population growth,” primarily through immigration restrictions.

Donald Alway, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, said Vandebona’s actions “crossed the line from protected speech to criminal activity when he terrorized his ideological adversaries with death threats.”

Alway and United States Attorney Martin Estrada said the conviction and sentencing of Vandebona shows that authorities will continue to arrest and prosecute those who threaten violence against other with ideological differences, especially health care workers at reproductive health facilities.

Vandebona faced a maximum sentence of more than five years in prison related to the charges.

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