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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Oregon Man Pleads Guilty for Instagram Threats Against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler

PORTLAND, Ore.—Kermit Tyler Poulson, 40, pleaded guilty today to one count of transmitting threatening communications with the intent to extort Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

According to court documents, on October 9, 2018, Poulson posted multiple threatening comments on Mayor Wheeler’s personal Instagram account. Poulson threatened to firebomb the mayor’s home if he did not immediately fire a Portland police officer recently involved in an on-duty shooting. Investigators tracked the IP address associated with the comments to a Portland residence where Poulson was staying. Poulson was present when investigators searched the property and after initially making a number of misleading statements, admitted that he alone was responsible for the comments.

Poulson faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced on October 2, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.

As part of the plea agreement, Poulson has agreed to forfeit property used to facilitate his crimes identified by the government prior to sentencing.

This case was investigated by the Portland FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). The Portland JTTF includes FBI special agents and more than a dozen state and local law enforcement officers.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated July 3, 2019