A 58-year-old US man pleaded guilty Thursday for sending threatening emails to a television station that were aimed at President Joe Biden, unnamed members of the US Congress, and their family members. He was arrested and charged in June 2021.
John Jacobs Ahrens, from Tulsa Oklahoma, had sent threatening emails to the KOTV Channel 6. On Thursday, he pled guilty to one count of 'threat against the President of the United States', and two counts of 'interstate communication with a threat to injure'. He is set to be sentenced on 22 December 2021
"This office and our federal law enforcement partners take seriously any online threats made against the President and members of Congress. I appreciate the staff at Newson6 for reporting John Ahrens' threatening emails," said Clint Johnson, Acting US Attorney, Northern District of Oklahoma, in a statement.
Demanding Money to Spare Lives
According to court documents, the FBI's National Threat Operations Center was contacted by an executive producer from the television station. The executive reported that threatening emails—dated between May and June 21—were received by the station.
In the mails sent to Newson6 Now, the station's news channel, Ahrens demanded monetary compensation. He also declared that he would kill President Biden, members of Congress, and their families if the station failed to pay him.
A mail sent on 10 May 2021, stated, "Please go to my Facebook page and read what I sent to the men of the United States Congress. They have less than 48 hours to hand over my money or their children will start dying all over the country. I'm going to kill their children using the same law as the Government used to force our families on to the Trail of Tears."
Threatening to Kill the President
Nevertheless, the threats from the 58-year-old did not end there. On 17 June 2021, he wrote in a message: "You have until Monday morning 8:00 am sharp to hand a check over to the State of Oklahoma, the Muscogee Nation and my family in accordance with a signed agreement as set forth in the Treaty of 1866."
Some of his other messages, Ahrens made statements such as "America is going to get to see a sitting President get his head blown off right in front of them" and "...your families will start dying. After that is over, I'm going to come back here one more time and tell you to hand over my money." He was finally arrested on 18 June 2021.