A Bakersfield man is facing federal charges after allegedly making threatening phone calls last year, including to a Planned Parenthood the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, officials announced Thursday.
Nishith Tharaka Vandebona, 34, was living in Camarillo during the alleged offenses. He was charged with three misdemeanor counts of threatened forcible intimidation regarding the obtaining and provision of reproductive health services under the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, otherwise known as the FACE Act, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He was also charged with two felony counts of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce to another organization in Ventura County.
According to a March 29 indictment that was unsealed this week, from February to June of last year, Vandebona allegedly used an application to create anonymous phone numbers to make the threatening calls.
On the day the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 case, Vandebona allegedly used an anonymous number and left a threatening message — including death threats — to a Planned Parenthood Central Coast in the Santa Barbara area, the indictment alleges.
On June 25, he called another Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles and allegedly told a call center specialist “I’m calling to let you know that I’m going to come in there and kill all of you, including your staff and your security. You got it? You’re overdue for an attack,” officials said.
Within an hour, he called that office again and allegedly made several death threats, including “I’m gonna come in there and murder your staff,” according to the indictment.
Before calling the Planned Parenthood facilities, in February 2022, Vandebona allegedly called in a bomb threat to the office of Californians for Population Stabilization, a Ventura-based nonprofit organization that advocates for “zero population growth,” primarily through immigration restrictions.
He allegedly used the anonymous numbers to make threatening calls to that office. In one incident, he said “I’m gonna come in there and kill all of you, dude. Be careful,” officials said. In another call to the organization that same month, he said “I’m gonna come in there, plant a bomb, and kill as many white Americans as possible. You understand that? Servicemen, families, everybody,” according to the indictment.
Vandebona pleaded not guilty to the charges and he is scheduled to return to court on May 30 for trial. He is being held without bail.
He faces maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each count of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce, and a maximum sentence of one year in federal prison for each FACE Act count.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, with help from the Santa Barbara and Santa Monica police departments and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.