Wareham teen charged with terroristic threats held without bail

Oct 19, 2018

A Wareham teen charged with making several terroristic threats was ordered held without bail on Oct. 19 following a dangerousness hearing in Wareham District Court. 

The defendant, Domenic Albanese, 18, of 39 Onset Ave. was arrested by Wareham Police on Oct. 10 and charged with making terroristic threats in connection to calls which took place on July 29 and Oct. 5. Albanese is set to appear in court again on Nov. 23. Court documents state Albanese allegedly threatened gun violence against three fast food restaurants, all located on Cranberry Highway.

Originally scheduled for Oct. 15, Albanese’s dangerousness hearing was delayed twice when no lawyer was available to represent him.

Dangerousness hearings are used to determine if a defendant poses a “substantial risk” of committing a felony with force, ultimately deciding if they are allowed to post bail or if they must remain in custody.

Albanese pleaded “not guilty” to the charges in Wareham District Court on the day of his arrest.

According to court documents, Albanese has a history of making threats using his technical know-how to mask the origin of calls and emails. Incidents involving fake threats, bomb scares and hacking 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, 57, also of 39 Onset Ave.

The most high profile case Albanese is allegedly connected to happened on July 10, 2017. On that day, officials said Albanese sent an anonymous email to Wareham school officials claiming that he was hiding in a storage room with a firearm, planning to “shoot and kill on sight.”

In response, all Wareham schools were put on lockdown. In the months that followed, court documents allege Albanese made additional threats to Wareham Schools and Bourne Middle School.

These documents also allege that Albanese has been involved with several “swatting” incidents. Swatting refers to false reports of violent crimes in progress, prompting a major show of force from police on innocent, unsuspecting people. Some cases of swatting have been fatal.

Police seized several pieces of technology from Albanese following these initial incidents, including laptops and cell phones which are currently being examined by the Department of Homeland Security.

“My son has been called a ‘serial swatter’,” said Albanese’s mother following Friday’s hearing. “Yet he has not been convicted of any of these charges. Homeland Security has had his electronics for over a year and have found nothing to prove he has committed any of these crimes.”

Albanese was previously indicted by a Plymouth County grand jury on a charge of rape of a child, use of force in December of 2017. Per his pre-trial conditions, Albanese is not allowed to have access to electronics or social media.

Two cell phones which police suspect were used to make the threats on July 29 and Oct. 5 were seized from Albanese’s home earlier this month. So far, investigations carried out by the Wareham Police Department have been unable to provide any direct connection to the threats received.

“There’s no direct information connecting [Albanese] to these crimes,” said Albanese’s attorney Louis Badwey. “What’s here is based on nothing more than statements from individuals.”

“It’s a tricky case because the state of the evidence is so young,” said judge Edward Sharkansky. “But I don’t think there are any conditions of release that will ensure the public’s safety.”

Sharkansky added that it would be impossible to monitor Albanese’s access to electronics if he were to be released on bail.

If found guilty of these charges, Albanese may face up to 20 years in prison with a mandatory sentence of three years.

“We are all innocent until proven guilty,” Albanese’s mother said. “And there are always two sides to every story.”