Army veteran in bogus-bomb case gets 5 years

By the Associated Press | September 23, 2011 | 8:50 PM EDT

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — An Army veteran who last year strapped a fake bomb to his body and held police at bay for seven hours has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Fifty-two-year-old Roman Conaway of Fairview Heights pleaded guilty in April to federal charges of making false threats to detonate an explosive device and of influencing a federal official by threat.

Along with the prison time, Conaway was ordered Friday to pay more than $35,000 for the cost of emergency responders who converged on the standoff scene.

Prosecutors requested a 50-month sentence for Conaway. Defense attorneys asked for a 30-month sentence.

Authorities say before the standoff at Conaway's home, he threatened to start a war between Christians and Muslims.

All the explosive items in Conaway's possession turned out to be harmless.