Bryan Brandenburg, the rather colorful and controversial co-founder of the FanX conventions in Salt Lake City, has been arrested in Hawaii after making bomb threats to various people in Utah.
Bryan Melvin Brandenburg, 63, of Waipahu, Hawaii, appeared in a Hawaii federal court on Tuesday. Brandenburg was charged in Hawaii’s federal court on Friday with transmitting threats in interstate commerce and threatening and conveying false information concerning the use of an explosive.
Brandenburg is accused of sending emails to multiple people in Utah threatening to bomb different buildings earlier this month.
Brandenburg was in the midst of divorce proceedings, and some of the threats were sent to officials at the court:
On May 4, Brandenburg sent emails to both court employees where he threatened to bomb the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City, the Utah State Capitol, the Salt Lake City mayor’s office, and apparently the Salt Lake Temple, charging documents say. Prosecutors say that multiple emails were sent from Brandenburg’s account, including an email that implied his divorce decision had been sent to him.
One email states, “We’re still going to bomb the 3rd District Courthouse. Hae (sic) a nice day,” according to charging documents. Subsequent emails said, “Now we’re going to bomb the State Capital (sic)….” and “And then …. We’ll bomb the mayor’s office …” Another email said “And then, we’re going to level the sacred temple,” according to the charges. Investigators say Brandenburg also threatened to bomb “every Ivy League School,” and the federal courthouse in San Diego “to teach them a lesson.”
Brandenburg was once much involved in running the FanX slate of events, which were formerly known as the Salt Lake City Comic Con. This name was the focus of a very long and acrimonious lawsuit between the San Diego Comic Con organization and FanX over the use of the term “Comic Con.” FanX ultimately was forced to pay nearly $4 million in legal fees, after such stunts as sending cars promoting their con to drive around San Diego during SDCC.
In 2018, he was forced to take a leave of absence after failing to address complaints of sexual harassment from a prominent guest at the show. During these and other events he was known for rather incendiary social media postings protesting his innocence…but no bomb threats that we can recall.
According to FanX, Brandenburg sold his shares in the show in 2019.
Brandenburg’s threats forced at least one building to be evacuated. He currently faces federal charges.