- A Maryland man has been arrested and charged with threatening to kidnap and former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, according to law enforcement officials.
- On October 4, James Dale Reed allegedly left a threatening note on the doorstep of a Frederick home whose resident had erected Biden-Harris campaign signs in the front yard, a criminal complaint said.
- "This is a warning to anyone reading this letter if you are a Biden/Harris supporter you will be targeted," the note read in part. "We are the ones with those scary guns, We are the ones your children have nightmares about."
- If convicted, Reed could face up to five years in federal prison.
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A Maryland man has been arrested and charged with threatening to kidnap and kill Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his vice-presidential running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, law enforcement officials announced on Wednesday.
Around 4:30 a.m. on October 4, James Dale Reed, a 42-year-old resident of Frederick, allegedly left a threatening handwritten note on the doorstep of a house that displayed Biden-Harris campaign signs in the front yard, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Secret Service in federal court.
The resident had a home security camera which captured footage from in front of the house, enabling authorities to investigate the incident and make an arrest.
The criminal complaint did not list any concrete plans that the man had taken to carry out the acts, but the language in the letter was violent in nature.
"This is a warning to anyone reading this letter if you are a Biden/Harris supporter you will be targeted," the note read in part. "We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs. We are the ones with those scary guns, We are the ones your children have nightmares about."
The remainder of the letter contained threats of murder, rape, and resistance to any infringement on the right to bear arms.
Reed was interviewed by federal authorities on October 13 but denied any involvement in the incident. On October 15, he confessed to the crime and was arrested.
"The right to vote and peacefully support the candidate of your choice are bedrocks of our democracy," US Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a statement. "Conduct like this that threatens major candidates and fellow citizens only undermines our democracy and the principles upon which America was founded. We will not tolerate threatening conduct that seeks to intimidate, harass or dissuade Americans from exercising their right to vote."
The charge comes just weeks before a November election that has been roiled by heightened concerns over voter intimidation and potential violence among fringe groups, along with a high-profile plot that was foiled by the FBI where a far-right organization sought to kidnap and kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over coronavirus restrictions in the state.
If convicted, Reed could face up to five years in federal prison.
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