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Shifler is granted bond

June 16, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN

A former police officer with the Hagerstown and Boonsboro Police Departments charged with making phone and mail threats was granted bond at a hearing Thursday.

Hours after the decision, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced it would appeal, spokeswoman Marcia Murphy said.

Jeffrey Scott Shifler, 41, is charged with one count of making threats by phone, one count of making threats by mail and one count of falsely claiming he had placed anthrax in City Hall, according to a criminal complaint.

Court entries Thursday indicate a bond of $100,000 was posted for Shifler, said Kay Owens, a deputy clerk for the U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

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The U.S. Attorney's Office will appeal the decision to grant bond at a hearing at noon today, according to Murphy.

Murphy refused to say where Shifler has been held, and she said he could still be in custody because he needs to meet certain conditions of the bond.

At a hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Connelly ruled that Shifler could be released on a $100,000 bond if he met several conditions.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Shifler must remain at home in the presence of at least one of four adult family members named as custodians, and he may only use the phone or mail with the permission of U.S. Pretrial Services.

Shifler also may not use drugs or alcohol or possess a firearm, Murphy said.

"There's more involved than just sending him to his house, and all of that has to be done in advance," Murphy said.

Murphy said the U.S. Attorney's Office opposed a defense motion filed Thursday for Shifler's release.

"I don't know that we were overly concerned about (the) risk of flight, but based on what's been charged, we didn't want him to be able to harm anyone," Murphy said.

Murphy said the conditions of Shifler's bond are more extensive than some release agreements.

"They're much stronger than some of the others that I've seen," Murphy said.

A woman who answered the phone Thursday at the U.S. Pretrial Services office in Baltimore said she was not authorized to release information about someone awaiting trial because, "it's personal, private, confidential." She refused to give her name.

According to Owens, court entries indicate Shifler, whose last known address was 13934 Green Mountain Drive in Maugansville, agreed to forfeit property if he violates his bond.

Shifler faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted on all three charges. The charges of threats carry maximum sentences of 10 years each, and the charge of making a false claim carries a sentence of five years in prison, Murphy said.

Shifler started work in July 2005 at the Boonsboro Police Department after being fired from the Hagerstown Police Department in November 2003 for falsifying payroll records. The alleged threats began in March 2004, about four months after he was fired.

Shifler also was fired from the Boonsboro Police Department, where he worked at the time of his arrest in February, Assistant Town Manager Debra Smith said.

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