A man was formally charged on October 21st in Maryland, United States, for making death threats against presidential candidate Joe Biden and his deputy, Senator Kamala Harris, in a letter left at the door of a neighbour who had posters supporting Democrats.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison. James Dale Reed, 42, from Frederick, told investigators that he was “upset about the political situation” when he wrote the threatening letter, a United States Secret Service agent said in a sworn written statement.
Reed was placed in state custody and a criminal complaint was filed against him in the federal court in Baltimore, prosecutor Robert Hur said in a press release.
A security camera recorded Reed leaving the letter at his neighbor’s door on the morning of October 4, officials said. The neighbour said he didn’t know Reed, but he had several signs to support Democratic candidates.
“We take these types of threats very seriously,” said Hur in his statement. “These threats of committing violence are illegal and have no place in our democracy, and we will hold those who make them accountable.”
The letter threatened violence against Democrats and said that “Grandpa Biden” and Harris would be attacked and executed, says the Secret Service agent’s statement.
An anonymous tip prompted investigators to question Reed at his home last Tuesday, prosecutors said.
He initially denied leaving the letter, but was arrested two days later, admitting that he wrote the threat and handed it over to his neighbor, according to Hur’s office. “He then explained his involvement to the agents saying ‘this is going to happen’ (referring to individuals making threatening comments) due to the political climate, ”wrote the Secret Service agent.
The agent noted that Reed was “known” to the Secret Service for making a threatening statement against an unidentified person under the agency’s protection in 2014.
The online court records do not list a lawyer who represents Reed. According to the lawsuit, he waived his right to have a lawyer to represent him during his first appearance at Frederick District Court last week.