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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Washington Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Secret Service Agents

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Bremerton, Washington man pled guilty to assaulting two special agents with the United States Secret Service, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Joshua Wills, 31, pled guilty to assaulting, resisting or impeding federal officers.

“One sure fire way not to see the President of the United States is to brandish a weapon and threaten the safety of local and federal officials,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Assaults on law enforcement officers will not be tolerated. Great work by the Secret Service and the St. Albans Police Department in stopping Wills before he could do serious harm.”

Wills admitted that he intended to drive from the state of Washington to Washington, D.C. to meet the President of the United States. The U.S. Secret Service began investigating Wills after they had received reports that Wills was traveling to see the President while possessing a dangerous weapon. Two special agents with the U.S. Secret Service located Wills in a campground in St. Albans and approached him for questioning. Officers with the St. Albans Police Department arrived at the campground for assistance. Wills admitted that he became agitated by the presence of the law enforcement officers and a standoff ensued for approximately 20 minutes. When Wills was told that he was going to be taken into custody for disorderly conduct, he unsheathed and raised a three-foot long Katana sword as a show of force. After further resisting law enforcement commands, Wills was disabled by a non-lethal beanbag gun possessed by a St. Albans police officer and taken into custody.

Wills faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on November 9, 2020.

The U.S. Secret Service and the St. Albans Police Department conducted the investigation. Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Tessman is handling the prosecution.

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. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:18-cr-00289.

 

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Updated September 8, 2020