A 19-year-old Harlingen man who wanted to be “edgy” by threatening on Twitter to bomb the Federal Reserve has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison.
A search revealed that Joel Hayden Schrimsher had “precursor chemicals and bomb making recipes” in his room when he made the threatening social media comments, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Court documents say Schrimsher also had pictures of “certificates” on his cell phone dubbing him “most likely to damage federal property.”
Though Schrimsher was originally indicted for six counts, he pleaded guilty on August 24 to one count of false information and hoaxes. He made the judicial confession before the Honorable Fernando Rodriguez in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville.
Schrimsher will be supervised by the federal Bureau of Prisons for another two years after he is released.
The Justice Department announced the sentencing in a press release on Monday.
“On June 6, 2019, authorities learned of an online threat made via Twitter from the username @HaydenJool displayed as @HaydenTer(rawr)ist,” the press release stated. “They quickly identified Schrimsher as the source. The investigation also revealed a post on his account relaying a family conversation which ended with ‘Me: I’m gonna mail a bomb to the Federal Reserve.’”
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs emphasized that online threats of violence are not jokes.
“The FBI and our law enforcement partners take threats of violence very seriously,” Combs said. “While law enforcement is committed to investigating these threats, members of the public play a critical role in helping law enforcement protect our community from violence by reporting online threats.”
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