The FBI got involved earlier this month when a Washington State law enforcement officer, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, received death threats because he vowed not to enforce the state’s new gun control laws. He’s one of about a dozen Washington sheriffs who believe the new laws that passed in November via a controversial ballot measure are unconstitutional.
Making death threats is a crime. Making them via the internet is even dumber and a federal crime. Yesterday the angry poster received a visit from local law enforcement authorities.
The Spokesman-Review has the details . . .
Jaydin H. W. Ledford was peacefully taken into custody after authorities knocked on his door shortly before noon, according to Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley.
Ledford was arrested on one count of harassment, a state charge, and booked into the Okanogan County Jail, but shortly afterward he was transferred to FBI custody, Hawley said.
Special Agent Christian Parker, who leads the FBI’s Spokane field office, said agents were working with federal prosecutors on a charging decision.
The 23-year-old Ledford made no attempt to conceal his identity, posting the threats from his own Facebook account.
“I-1639 is law,” said one threat posted on Feb. 1. “sheriffs that are non compliant will be shot. by me.”
“Ozzie Knezovich is gonna get a bullet in his skull,” another post said.
That’s right, Ledford threatened to shoot a Sheriff in the head over gun control law enforcement. And then the budding keyboard commando realized that someone was reading what he was posting.
The Facebook account identifies Ledford as a Marxist and generated dozens of politically charged posts each day. But the account went silent on the afternoon of Feb. 5, the day Knezovich announced his office was investigating the threats.
While he was arrested on a charge of harassment, that could very well change. Making a death threat in Washington State is a Class C felony. That’s up to five years and a $10,000 fine. Federally speaking, threatening via interstate communications (those intertubes go everywhere these days) is another possible five-year sentence.
According to the spokesman.com report, Ledford has no prior criminal record, so he’s probably going to get off without jail time. Still, it’s going to cost him.