Hart County Man Indicted by Federal Grand Jury for Transmitting Threats in Interstate Commerce
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky
Bowling Green, KY – A federal grand jury in Bowling Green, Kentucky returned an indictment on December 14, 2022, charging a Hart County man with transmitting threats in interstate commerce. The man was initially charged with this offence on November 22, 2022, by a federal criminal complaint.
U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office, and Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. of the Kentucky State Police made the announcement.
According to the complaint, Joshua O. Morrison, 30, of Horse Cave, Kentucky, transmitted a threat in interstate commerce. Specifically, the criminal complaint affidavit states that on November 20, 2022, at approximately 6:17 a.m., the Kentucky State Police (“KSP”) received a complaint regarding threats transmitted that morning via Facebook Messenger. The complainant did not know the sender, but stated she found the message disturbing and thought it should be reported. The Facebook message stated “Don’t go to church or school I’ma do a mass shooting. I’m coming to bowling green Kentucky to do a mass shooting also.”
KSP identified Morrison as the individual who sent the messages, and they went to his residence in Horse Cave, KY and located him. Morrison was advised of his Miranda rights and admitted to sending the messages, but repeatedly claimed he did not intend to carry out his threat. Morrison advised he knew what messages he sent, he verified the Facebook account that sent the messages was his own, and he admitted that he sent the messages.
On November 20, 2022, Morrison was arrested by KSP and on November 28, 2022, he was taken into federal custody. The defendant made his initial court appearance on November 28, 2022, before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Western District of Kentucky. The defendant remains in federal custody. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. There is no parole in the federal system.
The FBI Louisville Field Office’s Bowling Green Resident Agency and the Kentucky State Police are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Madison Sewell, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Bowling Green Branch Office, is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated December 15, 2022