Lincoln Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening an Election Official

(Undated) -- A Lincoln, Nebraska man pleaded guilty on Thursday to making multiple threatening posts on an Instagram page associated with an election official.

According to court documents, 42 year old Travis Ford made multiple threats in August 2021 toward the election official, specifically: “Do you feel safe? You shouldn’t. Do you think Soros will/can protect you?” and “Your security detail is far too thin and incompetent to protect you. This world is unpredictable these days….anything can happen to anyone.”

“The Justice Department will not tolerate illegal threats of violence against public officials,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Threats of violence against election officials are dangerous for people’s safety and dangerous for our democracy, and we will use every resource at our disposal to disrupt and investigate those threats and hold perpetrators accountable.”

“Threatening violence against election workers in an attempt to intimidate them while in performance of their duties will not be tolerated,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Threats to election workers have no place in our society, and today’s plea demonstrates the success of our collaborative efforts to ensure the safety of the workers we entrust to effectuate the democratic process.”

“We are proud to work with our partners at FBI Denver, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nebraska, and the Justice Department’s Criminal Division to hold this defendant accountable for threatening an election official in Colorado,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan for the District of Colorado. “If you make online threats of violence, do not count on remaining anonymous.”

Ford also posted similar messages on Instagram pages associated with the President of the United States and with another public figure. Ford is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 6 and faces up to two years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

FBI Denver investigated the case, with the assistance of FBI Omaha. This case is part of the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force. Announced by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and launched by Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco in June 2021, the task force has led the department’s efforts to address threats of violence against election workers, and to ensure that all election workers — whether elected, appointed, or volunteer — are able to do their jobs free from threats and intimidation.

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