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UMass Boston student charged with making bomb threats

Dean Beckford  was charged with making bomb hreats at UMass Boston.

MBTA Transit Police

Dean Beckford was charged with making bomb hreats at UMass Boston.

A senior at the University of Massachusetts Boston was charged with making two fake bomb threats to the school within the last week, officials said.

Dean Beckford, 29, of Somerville was charged with two counts of threats concerning the location of a dangerous item or a hijack, the university said today in a statement.

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He is being held on $20,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court on May 19, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

The false bomb threats were called into the Dean’s Office at about 12:45 p.m. on April 17 and 22. In both incidents, the caller said there was “an imminent danger of an explosion” in Wheatley Hall, officials said.

The building was evacuated both times and searched by Boston and State Police bomb squads. No explosive devices were discovered and the building was reopened soon thereafter.

“I hope this will be a clear and resounding message that we take these types of actions very seriously, and will aggressively investigate and pursue criminal charges when unfounded threats are made to the safety of the campus,” said UMass Boston Police Chief Donald Baynard in a statement.

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.

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