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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 29, 2020

Man who threatened law enforcement officers sentenced

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Joseph Michael Bragg, 41, of Columbus, was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to serve 22 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for sending more than a dozen threats to an Oklahoma sheriff and threatening the Columbus FBI agent who came to his house to interview him.

According to court documents, between June and July 2018, Bragg transmitted at least a dozen communications electronically, many of them through the Oologah, Oklahoma public website, threatening to violently injure Rogers County, Oklahoma Sheriff Scott Walton along with police officers and their families.

On July 20, 2018, at the request of the FBI office in Oklahoma, an FBI agent in Columbus went to Bragg’s residence. Bragg came to the door, shouted profanities at the agent and told the agent “you have no authority here” before going back inside. Bragg came back to the door threatening to shoot and decapitate the agent. The agent drew his weapon in defense. Authorities came back with a search warrant and later arrested Bragg, who has been in custody since his arrest.

Bragg pleaded guilty in July 2019 to one count of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce and one count of influencing a federal official by threat. The 22-month sentence amounts to time-served. While on supervised release, Bragg must also undergo substance abuse testing, counseling and treatment as directed by the U.S. Probation office. Bragg must also participate in a mental health assessment, counseling and treatment program including medication management. The court ordered Bragg to have no content with his victims and ordered him to allow Probation access to his social media accounts if there is a reasonable suspicion that he violated any conditions of his supervision.

David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; and Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Knight represented the United States in the case which was investigated by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

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If you have media questions, contact Jennifer Thornton at jenknnifer.thornton@usdoj.gov.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
fred.alverson@usdoj.gov
Updated June 29, 2020