WASHINGTON – A man who threatened to blow up his van near the White House (search) during inauguration week pleaded guilty Thursday to making a false explosives threat.
Lowell Timmers, 54, of Cedar Springs, Mich., entered the plea in U.S. District Court as part of a deal for a reduced sentence, federal prosecutors said. District Judge Emmett G. Sullivan must still must decide whether to accept the agreement for Timmers to serve two years and 10 months in prison. He will be sentenced June 30.
Timmers' threats brought traffic near the White House to a standstill for more than 4 1/2 hours on Jan. 18 — two days before Inauguration Day (search).
Timmers' van was parked across the street from the White House. When a Secret Service officer told him to move, he threatened to blow up the White House unless his son-in-law was released from jail, prosecutors said.
Police found containers of gasoline in the van, as well as components of a device to blow it up, but they were not connected, prosecutors said.
Timmers, a Marine Corps veteran who was honorably discharged in 1972, apparently came to Washington to talk with lawmakers about why the government was trying to deport his son-in-law, his attorney has said.