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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 24, 2021

Michigan Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening GHUHS Students

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated Jason Graham, 24, of Holland, Michigan, pled guilty today to making a 2019 threat over Facebook to “shoot up” Green Mountain Union High School located in Chester, Vermont. 

According to court documents, in February 2019, Jason Graham became engaged in an on-line dispute on Facebook with a group of Vermont high school students. During the course of the dispute, on February 4, 2019, Graham made threats via Facebook to “shoot up” the students’ school. On February 7, 2019, as the on-line dispute continued, Graham arranged for an associate to call the Vermont students’ high school and state that he had placed a bomb inside the school and had sharpshooters outside the building.  

At the plea hearing, the government noted that more than half the GMUHS student body skipped school in response to Graham’s February 4, 2019 Facebook threat, and that the subsequent bomb threat to GMUHS drew a massive law enforcement response. 

According to court documents, at the time Graham orchestrated the threats, Graham was under the supervision of Michigan authorities for prior felony convictions.  Shortly after the threats were tracked to Graham, authorities in Michigan confronted Graham at his residence and found him unlawfully possessing a firearm.  Graham was then arrested and convicted of a Michigan firearm violation, and recently completed his minimum state term of incarceration for that conviction.  

According to the terms of the federal plea agreement, in exchange for admitting to a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c), which prohibits the making of threats in interstate commerce, Graham will receive a sentence of no more than one year and one day.  Graham will remain detained pending sentencing.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt thanked Chester Police Department, the Vermont State Police, the Vermont Intelligence Center, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force for their investigation of the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eugenia A. P. Cowles and Michael P. Drescher are prosecuting the case. Assistant Federal Public Defender David McColgin represents Graham.

Topic(s): 
Counterterrorism
National Security
Component(s): 
Updated September 24, 2021