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Arizona man arrested after making bomb threats in ICE parking lot in Florence

Patrick Michael Gerola.jpg
Posted at 4:48 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 18:55:07-05

FLORENCE, AZ — An Arizona man is behind bars after making bomb threats in the parking lot of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building in Florence early morning New Year's Eve.

Deputies with the Pinal County Sheriffs Office say an ICE supervisor called Florence police to report a suspicious male in a vehicle making bomb threats in the parking lot Thursday at around 5:57 a.m.

When they arrived on scene, they located the man inside a red 2001 Isuzu Rodeo about 100 yards west of Highway 79 in the ICE parking lot.

Officials say the PCSO SWAT team, DPS Bomb Squad, Florence Fire, Pinal County Emergency Management, the FBI and ICE SRT were then activated due to the serious nature of the call.

The man, Patrick Michael Gerola, 56, was then taken into custody without incident at around 11:53 a.m.

Deputies say no explosives were located in the vehicle and Gerola's motives for making the threats are unknown at this time.

Gerola has been charged with terrorism, disorderly conduct and trespassing.

State Route 79, was closed in both directions during the incident and is now fully reopened.