SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — FanX co-founder Bryan Melvin Brandenburg has been found guilty of sending threats over email to bomb buildings in Utah and other parts of the U.S., according to court documents.
Brandenburg, 64, who lives in Waipahu, Hawaii, was found guilty of one count of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce and six counts of making any threat or conveying false information concerning the use of an explosive.
FanX is a local comic and pop-culture convention hosted in Salt Lake City. It is hosted semi-annually. It reportedly celebrates multiple genres of pop culture including comics, television, movies, authors, and more. This year features celebrities Michael J. Fox, Mario Lopez, Tony Danza, Grant Gustin, Shannen Doherty, and more.
Brandenburg appeared in a federal court in Honolulu back in 2022 after threatening to bomb multiple Utah buildings. Among those locations was the University of Utah, the Utah State Capitol, the 3rd District Courthouse in Salt Lake City, the mayor’s office, a “sacred temple,” multiple Ivy League universities, and a federal courthouse in San Diego, Calif.
Authorities say Brandenburg was upset with Utah State Court employees over the amount of time it took to process paperwork for his divorce.
Court documents spotlight various email exchanges between Brandenburg and state court employees beginning March 8, 2022. Brandenburg reportedly emailed staff multiple times asking about the divorce ruling’s progress. When he didn’t receive an official ruling, he began sending expletives and threats.
On May 4, 2022, Brandenburg reportedly emailed court staff mentioning specific places he wanted to bomb throughout Utah, along with Rockefeller Center in New York City and a courthouse in San Diego.
On May 6, 2022, Brandenburg emailed four individuals who worked for local Utah news outlets threatening to bomb the U of U campus saying, “Hall Labs is Frankenstein Inc. They put illegal medical devices in me without my knowledge or permission with the U of U Center for Medical Innovation. We’re bombing both campuses today for crimes against humanity,” court documents show.
Local law enforcement was immediately notified of the U of U bomb threat. Buildings at the U of U Center for Medical Innovation were evacuated for safety. Local police swept the buildings using an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist along with police K-9s.
“After an extensive search of the area, the police were able to declare the scene safe as no explosive devices were uncovered and allowed the evacuees back into the buildings,” court documents state.
FBI agents located Brandenburg at his residence in Hawaii for questioning. When interviewed, officials say Brandenburg admitted to making the aforementioned bomb threats.
Authorities say Brandenburg wanted his emails to “get their attention and to pressure the ‘court’ and ‘family’ so he can get his money back that they stole from him.” He told authorities he was “unhappy with how long it took the judge to rule on his divorce case and believed the court and his family worked together to take his money.”
In 2018, Brandenburg stepped down from his role at FanX over the handling of a sexual harassment complaint made by company employees. Additionally, he sold all of his interests in FanX in the spring of 2019.
In 2022, FanX issued the following statement to ABC4 regarding Brandenburg’s arrest:
“Bryan Brandenburg sold his interest in FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention in the Spring of 2019 in order to pursue other business ventures. Since his departure, FanX has had very limited contact with Bryan.”