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Staff writer

Police were searching Thursday for a caller who said there were bombs at Leonardtown High School as well as at the county’s two courts that morning.

No evidence of bombs was found at the county courthouse, a state office building and the high school by police dogs from St. Mary’s and Calvert counties as well as Patuxent River Naval Air Station, according to the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office.

The county’s emergency communications center received two calls, the first at 7:59 a.m., from a male about a bomb at the high school as well as the circuit and district courts.

The school system posted an emergency update on the school’s website at about 8:30 a.m. saying law enforcement had informed the school of “a potential bomb threat at Leonardtown High School and several other locations in Leonardtown.”

The school was on lockdown for two hours Thursday morning until an all-clear message was given, said Mike Wyant, director of safety and security for St. Mary’s public schools.

Students and staff remained in their classrooms during that time on a lockdown status, he said.

According to the sheriff’s office, the downtown courthouse, where circuit court proceedings are held, was evacuated Thursday morning until about 9:30 a.m. after a search confirmed no presence of a bomb.

District court, on instructions from a judge there, was not evacuated, according to the sheriff’s office.

Searches at the county courthouse and the Carter state office building, which houses the district court, were conducted with the police dogs and limited to the exterior of those buildings, according to employees at the two facilities.

The 90-minute evacuation of the courthouse included sealing off approaches from nearby streets, courthouse workers said, and people gathered outside in their parked vehicles or on the grounds. When the courthouse reopened, one employee said, “They were all backed up at the door.”

Court proceedings were delayed by about 20 minutes, a sheriff’s deputy said at the St. Mary’s state’s attorney’s office.

The Criminal Investigations Division of the sheriff’s office is investigating the false report and asked that anyone with information contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333 or text a tip to TIP239.

Staff writer John Wharton contributed to this report.