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Man Held for Threatening Clinton

October 16, 1998

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) _ A man was ordered held without bond, accused of threatening President Clinton with a pair of explosives found in a ditch at the Eugene airport before the president arrived in June.

Jeffery Pickering, 49, made no comment in a brief appearance before a federal magistrate Thursday, a day after his arrest. The case goes to a grand jury next week.

Clinton came to Eugene and Springfield on June 13 in the wake of the Springfield school shooting rampage that left two people dead.

The previous day, a caller told police that ``bombs have been distributed.″ The caller mentioned two by the airport ``in a pipe,″ and others at City Hall and a bus station.

Two bombs were found that afternoon in a culvert behind an air and space museum on the airport grounds, about a quarter mile from the terminal. No explosives were found at City Hall or the bus station.

Days earlier, Pickering told friends and relatives that if Clinton visited the area he would ``blow him away,″ court documents show. The records also say it was Pickering’s brother who tipped off the FBI.

Pickering previously had been convicted of theft and larceny charges and in 1988 pleaded guilty to second-degree sex abuse involving a boy in Polk County.

He was sentenced to four years’ probation, but that was extended by 18 months because of repeated problems, police said.

His probation officer, Becky Jackson, said Pickering had threatened his sex offender therapist in Polk County before moving to Deschutes County, and was ordered to have no further contact with the man.

In 1991, Ms. Jackson said Pickering had made threatening comments after being fired from the Oregon Employment Division. Because there were no overt acts, Pickering was not arrested.

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