Salt Lake Comic Con Co-Founder In Custody Over Bomb Threats

Bryan Brandenburg is well known to Bleeding Cool readers as the co-founder of FanX, formerly known as Salt Lake Comic Con, who went up against the San Diego Comic-Con over the "Comic Con" trademark, ended up losing to the tune of $4 million, which led him to apologise and to change the name of his convention to FanX. He then took a leave of absence from FanX over allegations that he mishandled harassment concerns. He is currently in federal detention awaiting trial over alleged bomb threats made earlier this year. He has pled not guilty, and his trial is set for the 21st of February 2023 before Judge Kobayashi.

The Scott Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City, photo by Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com.
The Scott Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City, photo by Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com.

Bryan Brandenburg was charged in federal court over allegations that he made bomb threats across Salt Lake City as well as San Diego, among other locations, including against the Matheson Courthouse, the University of Utah, the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the Federal Courthouse in San Diego. He allegedly emailed the substance of similar such threats to several media figures in Salt Lake City. The charges were for "transmitting threats in interstate commerce" and "threatening and conveying false information concerning use of an explosive."

Salt Lake Comic Con's Bryan Brandenburg Charged Over Bomb Threats
Court papers screencap

The now-unsealed papers can be read here, including this reported exchange. The censorship below is ours.

In separate emails BRANDENBURG wrote among other things:
a. 6:59 AM = "Thanks for finally sending my Divorce decision. You can still f-ck the f-ck off."
b. 7:08 AM = "We're still going to bomb the 3rd District Courthouse. Hae a nice day."
c. 7:26 AM = "Now we're going to bomb the State Capital…."
d. 7:28 AM "And then…. We'll bomb the mayor's office…"
e. 7:34 AM = "And then, we're going to level the sacred temple…"
f. 7:37 AM = "And then…. We'll level the Rockefeller Center in NYC…"
g, 8:00 AM = "And NOW… WE'RE BOMBING EVERY IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL, STARTING WITH MIT, YALE, AND HAAARRRVVVVARDDDD…"
h. 8:38 AM = "We're bombing the Federal Couthouse in San Diego to teach them a lesson…"

The court document also describes e-mails sent to unnamed media figures in Utah.

Media Person 1, Media Person 2, Media Person 3, and Media Person 4, all in Utah, received emails from bryangbrandenburg@gmail.com at their email addresses. At 8:39 AM, BRANDENBURG wrote:
"Hall Labs is Frankenstein Inc. They put illegal medical devices in me without my knowledge or permission with U of U Center for Medical Innovation. We're bombing both campuses today for crimes against humanity. Bryan Brandenburg".
14. Media Person 1 is an employee of the Salt Lake City Weekly in Salt Lake City, Utah. Media Person 2 is a co-host of a Salt Lake City, Utah morning show. Media Person 3 is a reporter and editor at the Salt Lake Tribune in Salt Lake City, Utah. Media Person 4 is an editor of the Utah InDepth Team in Salt Lake City, Utah. 15. According to the four media people, they knew BRANDENBURG from conducting interviews with him in the past. 16. Media Person 2 informed the FBI that on May 6, 2022, he/she received an email from BRANDENBURG relative to "Hall Labs" and the "U of U Center for Medical Innovation." He/she was on the air at the time the email was received but he/she believed he/she read it within approximately 15 minutes of its receipt. After reading the bomb threat, he/she also noticed the other email recipients. He/she subsequently contacted one of the recipients, Media Person 3, as he/she had just left the radio studio after finishing his/her movie reviews earlier that morning. Media Person 3 and Media Person 2 decided that Media Person 3 should contact the police as Media Person 2 was still broadcasting on air.

The complaint states that in an interview, Brandenburg expressed frustration over delays to his divorce, believing the court and his family were conspiring to extract money from him. Currently, Brandenburg faces two federal charge counts related to threats, and he faces a maximum punishment of fifteen years in prison.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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