A Coachella man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of threatening to bomb the 2021 Desert X art exhibition, a contemporary art biennial in the Coachella Valley.
Phillip Carrillo, 31, was booked at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning on suspicion of making a false bomb threat stemming from an alleged social media post reported on Feb. 17, according to the Palm Springs Police Department.
Desert X includes various art installations placed at outside sites across 40 miles of desert. It is scheduled for March 12 through May 16.
A motive in the crime was not specified.
Police said the investigation into Carrillo’s alleged threat targeting Desert X stemmed from the discovery of a pipe bomb near a popular trailhead in Palm Springs on Feb. 16. The sheriff’s Explosive Ordinance Team detonated an “active explosive device” near the entrance to Araby Trail near Southridge Drive and Rim Road.
The day after, police began investigating reports of “a possible threat made on social media that indicated there would be additional bombs placed at a Desert X art exhibit event on an unspecified date or time.”
That investigation led to Carrillo, who was arrested at his home in the 52000 block of Primitivo Drive in Coachella on Thursday.
But police stopped short of immediately connecting Carrillo to the bomb threat in Palm Springs, saying the two events comprise two separate investigations at the moment.
“The investigation into the threat and the investigation into the pipe bomb are being considered two separate investigations at this time as it is currently unknown if they are related,” police said.
Anyone with information regarding either investigation was urged to call Palm Springs Detective Edman Escallada at 760-323-8129.