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FBI, UAPD say tips from public helped arrest man who made UA threats

Posted at 10:28 AM, Jul 02, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Gary M. Restaino, a U.S. Attorney with the District of Arizona, and officials from the University of Arizona Police Department and the F.B.I. held a press conference to discuss developments in a threats case at the University of Arizona, involving Michael Pengchung Lee, Tuesday morning.

Lee was sentenced today to 16 months in prison for making death threats against University of Arizona fraternities and sororities in 2023.

Law enforcement said this was an example of the system working, catching a threat before it was acted upon.

“You made the difference in this case," Jason Alexander, an Arizona Special FBI Agent, said.

Tips from the public helped arrest Lee quickly after he first made threats.

Court documents from 2023 say he specifically talked about threatening campus greek life over Snapchat.


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Campus police said heightened awareness of threats on campus following the murder of Professor Thomas Meixner in 2022 played a part in preventing another tragedy.

“This process and system is working. It’s robust. We’re diligent with a sense of urgency. All of this is a result of what happened in October of 2022," Chief Chris Olsen with the University of Arizona Police Department, said.

As part of the plea agreement, Lee is banned from campus for three years under supervised release.

“This is a way to both ensure the rehabilitation of Mr. Lee and to protect the students on the University of Arizona campus," Restaino said.

Watch full press conference here:

U.S. Attorney press conference on University of Arizona threats case