Memphis man sentenced to 7 years for bomb threat, possessing a firearm

Memphis office of the Social Security Administration.
Memphis office of the Social Security Administration.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:18 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Christopher Cobb, 33, has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm after threatening to “blow up” the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) office located in Memphis.

Cobb pleaded guilty to communicating a threat and to being a felon in possession of a firearm on March 2, 2022 and was sentenced by United States District Judge Thomas L. Parker on June 9 to seven years in federal prison to be followed by three years’ supervised release.

“This sentence reflects the severity of Mr. Cobb’s actions and should stand as a warning to anyone who threatens any SSA official who is simply carrying out their duties. This behavior will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “I thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”

The incident occurred on the afternoon of April 22, 2021, when Cobb called the office to ask about the status of his Social Security claim. The call was terminated by the SSA after Cobb became irate and began using profanity after learning he needed to file an appeal because his claim was denied. Minutes later, Cobb called back and threatened to “blow up” the building the next day.

A search of his home revealed Cobb possessed a M-1 rifle and ammunition. After being advised of and waiving his Miranda rights, Cobb admitted to making the threat and also a possessing the firearm.

Cobb was previously convicted for aggravated assault, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, failure to appear in a felony case and robbery. As a result of his prior convictions, Cobb is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition.

“The safety of our citizens and communities is a top priority for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and threats against government facilities and employees must be taken seriously,” said Jerry C. Templet Jr., HSI Nashville Special Agent in Charge. “The investigative efforts of our special agents, working with their law enforcement partners, is reflected in the sentencing of this previously convicted felon.”

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