A Tulsa man pleaded guilty today in federal court for sending threatening emails to KOTV Channel 6 directed at President Joseph Biden, unnamed members of the Congress, and their families, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
John Jacobs Ahrens, 58, pleaded guilty to one count of threat against the President of the United States and two counts of interstate communication with a threat to injure. He will be sentenced on Dec. 22, 2021.
“This office and our federal law enforcement partners take seriously any online threats made against the President and members of Congress,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “I appreciate the staff at Newson6 for reporting John Ahrens’ threatening emails. It is their action along with the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel-lyn McCormick, the U.S. Secret Service, FBI, and OSBI that ensured Mr. Ahrens was held accountable today in federal court.”
According to court documents, an executive producer from the station contacted the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center to report the threatening emails dated between May and June 2021.
In his messages, Ahrens demanded money, and if it wasn’t sent, he wrote that he would kill the President, members of Congress, and their families.
On May 10, 2021, Ahrens sent a message stating, “Please go to my Facebook page and read what I sent to the men of the United States Congress. They have less than 48 hours to hand over my money or their children will start dying all over the country. I’m going to kill their children using the same law as the Government used to force our families on to the Trail of Tears.”
In a June 17 message, he wrote “You have until Monday morning 8:00 am sharp to hand a check over to the State of Oklahoma, the Muscogee Nation and my family in accordance with a signed agreement as set forth in the Treaty of 1866.”
Other messages included “America is going to get to see a sitting President get his head blown off right in front of them” and “…your families will start dying. After that is over, I’m going to come back here one more time and tell you to hand over my money.”
Ahrens was arrested at his Tulsa residence on June 18, 2021, by agents of the FBI and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and task for officers with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The U.S. Secret Service, FBI, and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel-lyn A. McCormick is prosecuting the case.