A western Michigan man was arraigned Tuesday, accused of making death threats against President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the state attorney general’s office confirmed in a release.
Joshua Docter, 21, of Holland, Mich., faces two felony counts of threat of terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime, according to FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“Threatening elected officials is against the law and my office will prosecute those who attempt to intimidate or terrorize our state and federal leaders,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “I appreciate the thorough investigative work by the FBI and Michigan State Police on this case, and I consider it another excellent example of showcasing the dedication that those working in law enforcement have to protecting the public.”
“Threatening elected officials is against the law and my office will prosecute those who attempt to intimidate or terrorize our state and federal leaders.”
Each charge carries up to 20 years in prison.
Docter allegedly claimed he planned to shoot the Democratic officials and would “be the catalyst” for a new “American revolution.” Investigators also found bomb-making information on his phone.
The FBI launched the investigation following several tips about the posts Docter allegedly wrote on the social media platform iFunny, FOX 17 reported.
Docter’s parents released a statement through a public relations firm Tuesday afternoon.
“As a family, we were shocked to learn of the charges against our son,” Bret and Erin Docter wrote. “We are in process of evaluating them and working with legal counsel to consider our next steps.”
Docter is scheduled to appear for a probable cause conference on April 8, according to Nessel’s office.
The FBI in October said it broke up a plot to kidnap Whitmer by anti-government extremists upset over coronavirus restrictions she had imposed in Michigan. Six people were charged in federal court while eight others were charged in state court with aiding them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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