NEW ORLEANS – A Michigan man faces up to five years in prison for allegedly calling in a bomb threat to the Superdome during the Lions–Saints playoff matchup earlier this month.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said Shawn Payton, of Jackson, Michigan, made his first appearance before a judge in Detroit on Monday. He was released on bond and ordered to appear in court in Louisiana on Feb. 14.
Letten said Payton called the Superdome around 9:15 p.m. and asked if this was the arena where the Saints were playing. After hearing that it was that arena, Payton told the receptionist that there was a bomb in the building, Letten said.
Around 45 minutes later, the Superdome received another call that was blocked by caller ID. Letten said Payton told the receptionist, "Hi, I want you to relay a message to the sideline, if your stupid Southern team keeps winning, there will be reper…severe consequences, OK?"
An investigation by the FBI pinpointed Payton as the suspect.
If convicted of sending threatening communications through interstate commerce, Payton faces five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
There were more than 70,000 people attending the nationally televised playoff matchup, which the Saints won, 45-28.