FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland man is facing a federal charge after allegedly threatening former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris and supporters with a letter in Frederick in early October.
A criminal complaint was filed Wednesday charging the man, James Dale Reed, 42, on the federal charge of threats against a major candidate for President or Vice President.
42 year old James Reed was arrested and charged after allegedly leaving a letter on Theresa Posthuma’s doorstep – threatening to beat and kill Presidential Candidate Joe #Biden and Kamala #Harris. Theresa says her stomach was in knots as she was reading the letter. @wjz #maryland pic.twitter.com/93BNSWlYPC
— Kelsey Kushner (@KelseyKushnerTV) October 21, 2020
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, a letter threatening candidates for President and Vice President — specifically Biden and Harris — was left on the doorstep of a Frederick home on the morning of October 4 at around 4:30 a.m.
A person dropping off the letter was caught on a Ring doorbell camera. The resident said they didn’t know the man but had several signs in the yard supporting Biden and Harris.
The letter reads in part: “This is a warning to anyone reading this letter if you are a Biden/Harris supporter you will be targeted. 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…”
Investigators identified Reed as a suspect after getting a citizen tip. Someone who knew Reed saw the doorbell camera footage and confirmed it was him.
The affidavit noted that Reed is known to the U.S. Secret Service for making a threatening statement against a person under USSS protection in 2014.
Reed was interviewed at his home on October 13 and denied he left the letter or being the person on camera. Two days later, however, he admitted writing and delivering the letter and was arrested.
He told investigators “This will happen,” referring to people making threatening comments due to the “political climate.”
The homeowner, Mark Posthuma, told WJZ they were concerned.
“We took it seriously, we were hoping nothing would happen but you never know. The person did say they had guns so it was concerning,” Posthuma said.
Still, the Posthumas don’t plan to take down their campaign signs.
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur stated, “We take these types of threats extremely seriously. Such threats to commit violence are illegal and have no place in our democracy, and we will hold accountable those who make them. We are grateful for the assistance of the City of Frederick Police Department and to citizens who provided tips that ultimately led to Mr. Reed’s arrest and these federal charges.”
If convicted, Reed faces a maximum of five years in federal prison.