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California man who made calls to Tufts police claiming he was armed in a dorm pleads guilty

He said he was hiding beneath a bed in a campus dorm room with a taser and pistol.

The academic quad on Tufts University's Medford campus. Emily Zilm / Tufts University

A California man pleaded guilty Monday to making threatening calls to the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) back in May 2021, claiming he was armed and hiding under a dorm room bed when he was actually in California.

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Sammy Sultan, 49, of Hayward, Calif. made eight calls to TUPD, six of which included specific threats, on or around May 28, 2021, lasting about an hour in all. He said he was hiding beneath a bed in a campus dorm room with a taser and pistol and that if a woman returned to the room and discovered him, he would use the taser on her.

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Sultan played the sounds of a taser activating and a pistol’s chamber being emptied and reloaded while on the calls.

TUPD and local police carried out a room-by-room search of Tufts buildings before a later electronic investigation revealed Sultan had made the calls from California. A law enforcement officer recognized Sultan’s voice from a prior investigation. In December 2017, Sultan had pleaded guilty to making hundreds of obscene and harassing phone calls to law enforcement agencies and was sentenced to two years in prison. 

Sultan was arrested via a criminal complaint on March 31, 2022, and subsequently formally charged on Oct. 21, 2022. He pleaded guilty to one count of making threats in interstate commerce in a U.S. District Court Monday, and he will be sentenced Feb. 3, 2023. The charge could provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. 

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