LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 40-year-old Lufkin man accepted a plea bargain deal of one year in the county jail for calling in a bomb threat to the Pilgrim's Pride plant in Lufkin in May of 2016.
Almuhajir Askari Salahuddin, who is also known as Thomas Green, appeared in Judge Paul White's 159th Judicial District Court Tuesday morning for a plea bargain hearing.
Wesley Hoyt, the San Augustine County Attorney, served as a special prosecuting attorney on the case because Salahuddin's former defense attorney is now working for the Angelina County District Attorney's Office.
Hoyt told the judge that he talked to the Lufkin Police Department investigators who worked the case, and they ran Salahuddin's name and every name on the contact list in his phone through the FBI. Neither Salahuddin or any of the people on his contact list were on any kind of terror watch list, Hoyt said.
Hoyt said investigators also determined that Salahuddin was not capable of making a bomb of any sort or setting it off.
"The time we live in is the reason the detectives took the time and effort to examine this matter in a lot of detail," Hoyt said. "Detective Stubblefield did a masterful job, and the city of Lufkin should be proud with his work. It was a unique case and involved a terrorist threat that was quite concerning to the police department.
As part of the plea bargain deal, Salahuddin pleaded guilty to Class A misdemeanor terrorist threat, which is a lesser charge than the one he was originally charged with when he was arrested in July of 2016. At that time, he was charged with state-jail felony terroristic threat. Salahuddin will also be required to pay restitution in the amount of $2,200.
White said he was unhappy with the plea bargain deal because, at a previous court hearing, Salahuddin claimed he never made the call to make the bomb threat. The judge said he accepted the deal out of respect for the prosecution and the investigators.
However, White did say that Salahuddin is on parole, and the plea bargain deal could affect Salahuddin's status in that regard. He said if the Parole Board asks for his opinion on the matter, he will likely let the board know what he thinks.
Lufkin police arrested Salahuddin in July after investigating the incident.
An arrest affidavit states Salahuddin called in the bomb threat to 911 on May 12. Lufkin PD and firefighters responded to it. It also caused USDA inspectors to leave the plant, meaning the company had to discard about $150,000 in chickens and then dispose of them at the landfill, resulting in a monetary loss of $490,370.
Police were able to trace the call back to Salahuddin.