2 charged with weapons of mass destruction hoax in Ft. Pierce

FT. PIERCE, Fla. — Two men are facing serious charges after a standoff at a Ft. Pierce motel and a suspicious substance scare.

Ft. Pierce Police charged 63-year-old Michael James Conley and his son 28-year-old Michael Hughes, with reporting a weapon of mass destruction hoax, a charge that is a second degree felony.

The incident occurred Monday around 3:45 p.m. when two Fort Pierce police officers responded to the America’s Best Value Motel, at 6651 Darter Court, regarding a man wanted in connection with a felony warrant out of Maine. When the officers tried to arrest Michael James Conley on the warrant, he held a knife to his own throat and claimed to have a weapon of mass destruction in his possession.

“Held up a knife and held up some sort of vile with an unknown substance in it.  He was threatening to do harm to himself and anyone who entered the room,” said Sgt. Dennis McWilliams, Ft. Pierce Police Department.

Officers immediately began a complete evacuation of the motel and surrounding properties.

“They had an emergency situation and they came around and knocked on the doors and told us all to get out now,” one motel guest told us.

For several hours, Conley and Hughes claimed to be in possession of the weapon and told officers that they would release the dangerous substance if the officers tried to enter the room and arrest Conley. Conley and Hughes both claimed to have the substance known as Ricin.

Authorities from the St. Lucie County Fire Department, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Lucie County Health Department, St. Lucie County Emergency Management, the Martin County Fire Department, and the FBI were all on hand to assist with the standoff.

At approximately 7:45 p.m. Conley and Hughes surrendered to the Fort Pierce Police Department and were arrested.  

The scene has been cleared. Officials report the claim by Conley and Hughes that they were in possession of any weapons of mass destruction was a hoax to avoid the initial arrest.

Article source: http://www.cbs12.com/news/pierce-4739091-standoff-motel.html

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