A Boardman man was indicted in federal court for making threats against federal law enforcement officers.
Justin Olsen, 18, was indicted on one count of threatening to assault and abet others to assault federal law enforcement officers engaged in the performance of official duties and one count of making threatening communications interstate.
Olsen, on June 2, 2019, threatened to shoot every federal agent on sight, according to the indictment.
“Every law enforcement officer takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Anyone who threatens those same law enforcement agents is committing a crime, not engaging in some form of protected speech. When those threats are made, especially where someone possesses the means to act on those threats, we take it seriously and will seek criminal charges.”
"Protecting citizens’ freedom of speech is a main priority for the FBI, but when you call for the killing of federal officers you have crossed the line,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith. “The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to assess and disrupt threats of physical harm to any citizen. Law enforcement encourages the public to report suspicious online or in person behavior -- see something, say something."
Boardman Police Chief Todd Werth said: “This case is a good example of how local and federal law enforcement work together to address threats to the safety of our community. The federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this matter highlights the serious nature of his actions.”
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Boardman Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Yasmine Makridis.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.