BREAKING: Suspect in downtown Sumter bomb threats to DHEC, DSS building arrested


A Sumter man has been arrested for allegedly making two bomb threats to a public building in downtown Sumter.

In a Saturday news release, the Sumter Police Department said it collected information leading to the arrest of James Lee Samuels, 51, of Huddersfield Drive in Sumter. Samuels faces two counts of bomb threat. Samuels was taken into custody without incident, according to a department spokeswoman.

Sumter Police Department officers and other first responders were called before noon Wednesday and again around 8:30 a.m. Friday to a building at North Magnolia Street and Lafayette Drive in Sumter after officials with one of the agencies there received the threats. The building houses Sumter offices of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control and of the state Department of Social Services.

In both incidents, the building was immediately evacuated and the area cordoned off until a search determined there was no danger.

Samuels is being held at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center, where bond was denied Saturday.

Officers are continuing to investigate the motive and other details in the case.

This article will be updated.