Additional charge filed in threats to Maryland synagogue

BALTIMORE (AP) – A man who prosecutors say made threatening telephone calls to a Maryland synagogue is facing an additional charge.

The office of the U.S. Attorney in Maryland said a federal grand jury on Thursday returned a superseding indictment against Stephen Lyle Orback. Prosecutors accuse him of making multiple telephone calls to an employee of a synagogue in Owings Mills, threatening to kill many members of the congregation by using firearms and explosives and burning it down.

The calls were made between May 12 and July 21, according to the indictment, which charged Orback, 65, with making threatening communications and intentionally attempting to obstruct persons in the free exercise of their religious beliefs through the threatened use of force. If convicted, Orback faces up to five years in federal prison on the former charge and a maximum of 20 years for the latter one.

A previous indictment only charged Orback with making threatening communications.

Court records do not list an attorney who could comment on Orback’s behalf. Authorities say he is currently in custody in Colorado on unrelated state charges.

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