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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Putnam County Man Indicted in Connection With Making Serious Threats of Violence Against Police Officers on Snapchat

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Putnam County man was indicted today by a federal grand jury sitting in Huntington for making threats of violence against law enforcement officers on social media, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. The one count indictment charges Silas Thornton King, 18, of Hurricane, with interstate communications containing a threat to injure the person of another.

The indictment alleges that on June 28, 2020, King posted threats to injure law enforcement on Snapchat, a social media platform. King was previously arrested on a federal criminal complaint which alleged that he posted a Snapchat video of himself as he verbally threatened serious physical violence against officers of the Milton Police Department. 

“Today’s indictment of King is a testament to my sincere commitment to do everything in my power to protect and defend those in law enforcement - our Guardians of Justice - who serve bravely, selflessly, and courageously in defense of all our citizens. Threats of physical violence against law enforcement officers are abhorrent and something I will never tolerate,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. 

"The FBI takes all threats seriously," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Christman. "We work very closely with our state and local partners when these types of threats come in. We want everyone to know posting anything of a threatening nature on social media will be taken seriously and it will be investigated."

If convicted, King faces up to five years in federal prison.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the West Virginia State Police, the Milton Police Department and the Hurricane Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Courtney Cremeans is handling the prosecution.

Please note:  An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. The indictment and related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:20-CR-00111.

 

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Updated July 14, 2020