A 59-year-old Salt Lake City man who is a well-known Republican activist has been charged with making a terroristic threat for allegedly emailing Salt Lake City Marathon organizers about placing bombs at the finish line of last Saturday's race.
George Hodgson Zinn told police who arrested him on Friday that he didn't mean anything by sending the email, but police and prosecutors are taking it seriously.
Zinn was charged in 3rd District Court with threat of terrorism, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
According to court documents, Zinn on April 17 emailed the marketing director for the Salt Lake City Marathon, asking: "I was wondering if you needed anybody to help place bombs near the finish line on Saturday???"
Zinn is scheduled for an initial court appearance on May 20.
According to Utah court records, Zinn has a criminal record dating back to 1989 that includes several dozen convictions for petty crimes such as criminal trespass, theft of services, interfering with a police officer and disturbing the peace.
When Zinn landed in the Davis County jail last March for failing to pay fines accrued by getting caught numerous times on TRAX and Frontrunner without buying a ticket Salt Lake County Councilman and former GOP State Chairman Richard Snelgrove launched a fundraising drive to pay the $1,700 in outstanding fines to free Zinn.
Zinn habitually shows up to anything to do with the Utah Republican Party, including national conventions, wearing faded jeans, work shirts and tennis shoes to the fancy events.