Wareham teen charged with making terroristic threats arraigned in Brockton Superior Court
A Wareham teen charged with making several terroristic threats appeared in Brockton Superior Court on Friday, March 1 for arraignment on three charges of false bomb threats with serious public alarm and one count of witness intimidation.
19 year-old Domenic Albanese was arrested by Wareham Police on Oct. 10, 2018 and charged with making terroristic threats in connection to calls that allegedly threatened gun violence against three fast food restaurants on Cranberry Highway.
At the arraignment, Albanese pleaded not guilty to all charges.
A dangerousness hearing for Albanese was also held, during which the prosecutor entered 15 pieces of evidence.
Albanese previously had a dangerousness hearing in Wareham District Court on Nov. 8, 2018. He has been held for 150 days.
During the March 1 dangerousness hearing, the prosecutor emphasized Albanese’s history in the criminal justice system and his allegedly escalating behavior.
According to court documents, Albanese has a history of making similar threats using his technical know-how to mask the origin of calls and emails. Incidents involving bomb scares and hacking reportedly started back in 2017, less than a year after Albanese’s own home was raided by a S.W.A.T. During the incident, police confiscated loaded weapons and arrested his mother, Lori.
Although the prosecution does not yet have direct evidence that Albanese made the calls threatening the Cranberry Highway restaurants, it now has two people who claim that Albanese told them he was the one who phoned in the threats using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide his identity.
Hayley Gallant, Albanese’s ex-girlfriend who used to live with Albanese and his mother, as well as Damon Isom, an acquaintance of Albanese, both say that Albanese told them he made the calls.
Gallant went to the Wareham Police Department on Oct. 4, 2018 to report that Albanese was responsible for the July 29 threat against Burger King.
Gallant said Albanese told her he made the call because she had said she felt sick and didn’t want to work. Gallant also said Albanese made the calls “just for fun.” After the threat, the restaurant closed for the day.
Albanese allegedly threatened Gallant in an attempt to keep her from telling the police about the calls after the incident.
Albanese allegedly sent Gallant a Snapchat message inviting her to get on a Skype group chat for “false reported situations all night,” implying that he intended to call in more false bomb threats.
Gallant took a screenshot of the message, which caused the app to alert Albanese that she had done so.
Albanese then called Gallant via video chat, which she also recorded. The prosecutor played the recording for the court. In the recording, Albanese can be heard in a raised voice, saying in part, “If you don’t delete the screenshot that you took of my story, it’s going to get bad.”
The “story” refers to Albanese’s Snapchat message.
At the time these incidents occurred, Albanese was on probation ahead of trial for other charges, and was not supposed to have access to any electronics.
Gallant also told police that she had seen Albanese use VPNs before to hide his identity.
Detective Dean Decas of the Wareham Police Department testified that during a search of the Albanese home on Oct. 10, 2018, Albanese’s mother, was instructed to stay seated in the living room while police executed the search warrant.
At one point, Sergeant Mike Smith reportedly saw that Lori was not in the living room. He eventually found her in the bedroom, where she said she was “playing with the cats.”
Some time after, the police heard a phone ringing in the closet, where they eventually located two iPhones deep onto the top shelf, where Decas said they must have been thrown.
According to police, one iPhone was Lori’s and other was Domenic’s. Both were seized and worked on by both Plymouth County High-Tech Evidence Analysis Team, or HEAT, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Police said they are still sifting through the evidence that was retrieved from the phones.
The other witness, Isom, said that Albanese also told him about several false calls, one of which he claimed to be present for.
On one occasion, Albanese allegedly asked Isom if he would be interested in doing a school shooting at Wareham High School and said he would have no problem shooting himself in the head.
Albanese’s defense attorney, Louis Badwey, said that the prosecution’s evidence was weak and that there was no direct evidence that Albanese made the calls.
Badwey and the prosecutor also disagreed about whether or not Albanese could be held longer for dangerousness as people are not supposed to be held for more than 120 days on dangerousness.
Albanese has currently been held for 150 days, and the prosecutor argued that the clock restarts when a case moves from district court to superior court.
The judge took the evidence under advisement and has not yet made a ruling.
After the hearing, Albanese’s mother issued a statement to Wareham Week, which can be read by clicking here.