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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 12, 2017

Medford Man Receives Federal Prison Sentence for Threatening Former President Obama

MEDFORD, Ore. – On May 12, 2017, United States District Court Judge Michael J. McShane sentenced John Martin Roos, 62, of Medford, to 63 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered explosive device and posting Internet threats to kill then-President of the United States Barack Obama and FBI agents. After his release from prison, Roos will be on supervised release for three years.

“Threats of violence directed at public officials and law enforcement are a serious matter” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. “Violent social media posts are every bit as serious as those made in other venues. We will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute similar crimes.”

Roos admitted in court to using racially inflammatory language in a Twitter post in which he threatened to kill former President Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama and their children. In a Facebook post, Roos threatened to “snipe” FBI agents “with hunting rifles.”

Roos was arrested last April while parking his truck outside a Veterans Administration (VA) facility in White City, Oregon. The arresting agent found a loaded semi-automatic pistol underneath the driver side floor mat. A search of Roos’ apartment uncovered more firearms and several pipe bombs.

Roos told investigators that he was motivated to threaten FBI agents after the fatal shooting of Lavoy Finicum in January 2016 during the highly-publicized occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon. Roos has remained in custody since his arrest in April 2016.

This case was investigated by the FBI, United States Secret Service, VA Police Service, Oregon State Police, Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force and Medford Police Department and prosecuted by William “Bud” Fitzgerald, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Updated May 16, 2017