LINCOLN, Nebraska – A guy from Lincoln was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday for posting several threats on social media accounts affiliated with Colorado’s chief election officer.
In June, 42-year-old Travis Ford pled guilty to mailing threats to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. According to court filings, he posted threats on Instagram, including “Do you feel safe? You ought not to. Do you believe that Soros will defend you?” Your security detail is too small and inept to adequately protect you. These days, the world is unpredictable; anything can happen to anyone.”
Ford has posted similar messages addressed against the United States president and another public figure.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland delivered a statement in response to the Nebraska District Court’s sentencing decision. He stated, “This sentence makes it abundantly obvious that anyone who improperly intimidate election workers must be prepared to face severe punishment. The Justice Department will not hesitate to prosecute those whose unlawful threats of violence harm election officials.
“Make no mistake, threatening election officials is a severe assault on our democratic process,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a separate statement. The punishment handed down today demonstrates that the FBI and our partners will stand up to anyone who tries to intimidate election workers for doing their jobs. The American electoral system is secure, and we are committed to ensuring that it remains so.”
The case was investigated by the FBI Denver Field Office with assistance from the FBI Omaha Field Office. It was the first guilty plea obtained by the U.S. Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force, which was established last year after the 2020 presidential election out of concern about the effect threats against election officials and employees could have on democracy.