Friend of sailor charged with reporting false tip about bomb-making materials

(Matt Gregory/WAVY Photos)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The friend of a sailor at the center of a false report of possible bomb-making materials in a Newport News apartment has been charged.

Residents of the Boston Cove complex in Newport News were evacuated Wednesday due to a report of possible bomb-making materials inside an apartment.

Police said NCIS called officers to the apartment, located in the 800 block of Forrest Drive, at 11:20 a.m. No one was inside the unit, officials said.

A spokesperson for NCIS confirmed the agency reportedly received a tip alerting them to the potential danger, prompting enough concern to call the bomb squad to the scene. A SWAT team also responded.

“As I open the door, I got a SWAT truck in front of me… look to my left, there’s cops everywhere, look to my right, there’s two drones,” said AJ Sperry, a resident.

Gallery: Evacuation of Boston Cove Apartments

The scene cleared around 5 p.m., after no dangerous materials were found, officials said.

The Newport News Fire Marshal’s Office charged Major B. West, Jr. with communication of a bomb threat knowing it was false. An NCIS official says West is a friend of the female sailor who lived in the apartment.

West was apparently homeless and was staying with the sailor and her boyfriend for a few weeks, according to the Fire Marshal. He reportedly got into an argument with the sailor. The Fire Marshal says West then called NCIS and made a false report that she was going to sneak her boyfriend onto a ship and plant a bomb.

An NCIS spokesman said the tip was false, and the sailor who lived in the unit is not facing charges.