Georgia man heads to federal prison after making death threats against Joe Biden
Georgia resident Travis Ball, 56, received a 33-month prison sentence this week after threatening to kill President Joe Biden and blow up the White House.
The Department of Justice announced Ball's sentence, which also included a $7,500 fine, in a press release on Wednesday. Ball had pleaded guilty.
Using an alias, Ball sent a series of letters to several county government offices containing a "white powdery substance," which prompted a federal investigation. Authorities arrested Ball at his residence in March of 2021.
Ball had been sleeping on a cot in his living room, apparently spending most of his time on a laptop and writing letters, per the DOJ. Also at the scene was a stack of notebook paper. The top page had the impression of a letter and authorities were able to determine its contents through a shading.
"HATE YOU JOE BIDEN AND AM GOING TO KILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND EVERYONE IN THE WHITEHOUSE!" it read. "I’M A PSYCHO KILLER AND AM GOING TO BLOWUP THE WHITEHOUSE AND KILL EVERYONE IN IT! IM SERIOUS AND NOT KIDDING! LOCK ME UP OR ALL OF YOU WILL DIE! HAVE SOME ANTHRAX YOU BASTARDS!"
The White House Mail Sorting Facility received the letter on March 30, 2021, and handed it over to U.S. Secret Service.
Authorities celebrated Ball's conviction and sentencing. "Sending death threats and purported anthrax is not protected speech — it is a crime," U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said, per the DOJ release. "I applaud the investigative work by our federal and local law enforcement partners to secure justice in this case."
Ball had been convicted in 2017 of making felony hoax threats by sending letters in 2016 to the State Bar of Georgia and Atlanta newspapers that contained a white powdery substance.