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Missouri man admits bogus threats to city water supplies

KANSAS CITY Mo. (Reuters) - A Missouri man pleaded guilty on Monday to making bogus telephone reports in October that water supplies would be contaminated in four cities in Missouri and Kansas.

Manuel Garcia, 70, admitted he called police and federal officials claiming that water in Kansas City and St. Louis, as well as Wichita and Topeka, Kansas, would be contaminated with an unknown substance, according to a plea agreement reached with the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas City.

In the phone calls, Garcia claimed that four men in uniforms of a plumbing company planned to contaminate the water supplies. Garcia said he would help authorities try to find the men for $10,000 and a grant of immunity, according to a federal affidavit in October.

An FBI agent investigating the calls recognized Garcia’s voice from a previous case in which he pleaded guilty to making false threats involving explosives outside a federal courthouse, the plea agreement stated.

Garcia will be sentenced at a later date, and could face up to five years in prison without parole and a fine of up to $250,000, officials said.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)