A 23-year-old Washington state resident was arrested earlier this month after posting threatening messages to cops on Facebook.
Jaydin Ledford, a self-described Marxist who, according to Newsweek, “also claims to ‘speak for the trees’” posted several messages aimed at Washington cops, and even included a death threat naming Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
“Ozzie Knezovich is gonna get a bullet in his skull,” Ledford’s post read.
He also posted multiple death threats against cops after members of the police force publicly denounced a recently passed gun control bill (I-1639) which expands background checks and prohibits anyone under 21 from buying a semi-automatic rifle, among other things. The National Rifle Association has already filed a lawsuit against the law.
“I-1639 is law,” Ledford wrote on Facebook. “[S]heriffs that are non compliant will be shot. By me.”
In another post, according to Newsweek, Ledford wrote, “I really want to kill a police officer.”
Sheriff Knezovich, who was named in one of Ledford’s posts, told the media outlet he found the threats “ironic.”
"This is an individual who wants to ban guns -- except he wants to kill people," Knezovich said.
Ledford was arrested on federal charges of cyberstalking. From Newsweek:
“According to the statute, cyberstalking includes 'any course of conduct or series of acts taken by the perpetrator on the Internet that place the victim in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury, or causes, attempts to cause, or would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to the victim or the victim’s immediate family.'"
Sheriff Tony Hawley told the outlet Ledford was also charged with harassment, and that the sheriff’s office was informed of the young man’s threats by a “concerned citizen.”
Hawley told Newsweek he encouraged his deputies to patrol in pairs in case they encountered Ledford, and worried the 23-year-old may have inspired others to take out cops.
Ledford was arrested just a couple days after Christopher Paul Hasson, a former U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant on the other side of the fringe political spectrum. Hasson, a self-proclaimed white nationalist, was arrested on drug and weapons charges, and police discovered an arsenal at his home and a cache of steroids and other drugs.
“When law enforcement raided Hasson’s apartment, they said they found a locked container loaded with more than 30 vials of what appeared to be human growth hormones. He has also ordered more than 4,200 pills of the narcotic Tramadol since 2016, along with synthetic urine to allegedly bypass possible random drug screenings at work,” The Washington Post reported.
Police also discovered that Hasson was a fan of right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik and had a list of potential targets, including multiple high-profile Democrat politicians and media personalities.
While Hasson doesn’t appear to have posted threats on social media, his stash of weapons along with Breivik’s manifesto and the Democrat hit list is certainly concerning. And it appears he may have been considering an attack, writing in a draft email two years ago about a “bombing/sniper campaign.”
Officials from the Baltimore FBI field office and the Coast Guard Investigative Service arrested Hasson last Friday.