A Frederick man was found guilty of voter intimidation for leaving a letter in a mailbox that threatened then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats.

James Dale Reed, 42, faced one count each of voter intimidation and making a threat of mass violence. During a Frederick County District Court bench trial Wednesday, Judge Eric William Schaffer found Reed guilty of voter intimidation but not guilty of the latter. The verdict came after the judge heard arguments and testimony from the state and defense, according to the Frederick County State's Attorney's Office.

Schaffer sentenced Reed to two years in prison, suspending all but time served (132 days). He will undergo three years of supervised probation.

“In the rendering of his verdict, Judge Schaffer stated that the Maryland statute requires a minimum of five people be threatened to constitute a threat of mass violence," State's Attorney Charlie Smith said in a prepared statement. "We respect his interpretation of the law, but believe that the letter clearly represented a serious threat of political violence against a larger group of people.”

Frederick residents found a letter in their mailbox Oct. 4 that threatened Biden, then-vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, the state's attorney's office said. Reed reportedly targeted this address due to the political signs displayed on their property. Frederick Police Department responded to the home and investigated.

A criminal complaint was also filed Oct. 21 against Reed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland for threatening major candidates for the office of president and vice president. There were no hearings scheduled in this case as of Wednesday night. The maximum penalty for conviction of this offense is five years imprisonment.

The Frederick County State's Attorney's Office said the letter also stated, “this is a warning to anyone reading this letter that if you are a Biden/Harris supporter you will be 'targeted,' have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs.”

An affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint said doorbell camera footage and an anonymous tip helped lead investigators to identifying Reed. He was already known to the U.S. Secret Service for threatening a person under its protection in 2014, according to the affidavit.

Reed initially denied his involvement when authorities visited his home Oct. 13. Two days later, he admitted to writing and delivering the letter after agents came to request palm prints and a handwriting sample, the affidavit states.

In Frederick County District Court, the state was represented by Assistant State’s Attorney Samantha Slattery.

Reed was represented by the Frederick County Public Defender's Office, which could not be reached after hours Wednesday.

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller 

(34) comments

KellyAlzan

The appearance of a typical Trumpflake and Chuckflake.

NewMarketParent

Ahem.

I guess it wasn't a POC who did this after all.

phydeaux994

I heard this morning Mr. Reed still has Federal charges pending for threatening the lives of President Biden and Vice-President Harris. It amazes me the number of people ruining their lives in support of a mentally ill man/child who doesn’t give a crap about them. He wanted to kill his most LOYAL Vice-President Pence for not doing something it was impossible for him to do. It is a CULT. Only brainwashed people could be this fanatical.

KellyAlzan

[thumbup][thumbup]

KellyAlzan

Very powerful and controlling. No different than when I post a mere two word comment here and 8 people respond!

Being a public figure is the bomb

mrnatural1

It is a conundrum for sure.

Enter "snake oil salesman meme" in Google images. That's what we're dealing with.

KellyAlzan

No way he’s 42. Looks 50

NewMarketParent

@KellyAlzan

Being perpetually angry ages someone immensely.

KellyAlzan

True

bosco

"He was already known to the U.S. Secret Service for threatening a person under its protection in 2014, according to the affidavit."....so he was already on their nut case list.

FlagstaffTM

So if he is on probation does that mean he will be allowed back in the Baker Park pool where he would don googles and follow girls underwater? Probably not in line with the marketing tag of "Frederick: Hip and Historic" to have an individual around kids who has been found guilty of threatening s*domy to elected officials and making violent threats to his fellow community members.

matthewboh

Will he be able to vote after this? Hope not...

threecents

Is Republican rehab possible? The end of his probation sentence should be contingent on his understanding that there is no basis for Trumps claims that he won the election. I imagine it like a "My Fair Lady" scenario. The FNP could print before and after head shots.

bosco

threecents....AOC has advocated for deprogramming and Robert Reich has suggested special re-education camps - somthing along the lines of the camps China runs for Muslims.

[beam]

threecents

Actually, you are wrong - Suprise. I don't follow AOC, as I am not a Republican, but Reich, as I posted before, never advocated re-education camps. He only suggested a sort of truth commission to fact check controversial topics.

@threecents

It’s odd how closely Republicans follow AOC, I can’t think of one Republican I would even care to follow that closely?

NewMarketParent

@PurplePickles

Republicans are afraid of AOC. They like to identify their boogeymen early and start building them up with their viewers. They start erecting their gallows early in Faux News land.

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup] bosco [smile]

Piedmontgardener

42? Hard living doesn't often include intellect.

bosco

I wonder if that's the visible effects of what drugs and alcohol do to the human body?

KellyAlzan

Can’t wait to see what the pretty purple pickle has to say bout this!

@KellyAlzan

James Dale Reed, 42,..it looks like it's been a rough 42 years for Mr. Reed doesn't it? I feel a tad sorry for the man actually, I feel a tad sorry for all the people that have been radicalized because of the orange man's rhetoric. I always thought we Americans were made of stronger stock, didn't you, that we could not be so easily played. But many of us were played so easily this last 4 years, played like a fine violin.

But the reality we have to live with is radicalized people like James Dale Reed, 42, who is just one of very many radicalized people that we have to share space with.

One day one hopes that they wake up and realize how badly they have been played into doing the dangerous things they have done....you know like murder a cop during insurrection, but reality tells us that once radicalized always radicalized, once you have been played, you will always be susceptible to be played. People like James Dale Reed, 42, are still giving their hard earned dollars to the orange one and the likes of Steve Bannon. So basically I'm surprised we haven't seen or been made aware of more stuff like this happening locally.

NewMarketParent

@PurplePickles

People forget Jonestown and all that happened up to the mass suicides. If you are a fan of podcasts and like humor, Last Podcast On the Left had a really great series on several different cults including Jonestown. Cult45 is no different.

Nicki

Deplorables! 😡

phydeaux994

I’m going to have to modify my Trump Supporter costume that I will wear to the next pro-Trump Riot. I’ll just throw away my comb.

public-redux

The folk who think our elections lack integrity will be all over this.

Greg F

One nut does not break the system.

public-redux

Are you referring to the gentleman in this article or the folk who think our elections lack integrity?

Greg F

The latter. They think one nut is the whole story and it’s rampant because of the one example...which is also a right winger. Poetry.

threecents

Yah, our election system is actually amazingly good, so it is frustrating that so many people believe it isn't.

KellyAlzan

And with all the contention that was expected, 2020 was probably the tightest and most up to par it’s ever been

threecents

I think Trump thinks our system is bad because he couldn't work it.

MD1756

I think you really mean our election system is amazingly secure. Too many people are willing to accept too much nonsense and then they vote on those badly mistaken beliefs (and I think that applies to a good number of people, mostly on the fringes (right or left, but maybe more on the right)). If only we could come up with a valid idiot test.

NewMarketParent

@threecents

Those people are being willfully ignorant and lead around by the nose. Rather than accept that a good number of people feel differently than them, they would rather rip the whole system to shreds. There is only one side that feels this way.

Democrats are trying to make sure more people vote. Republicans are trying to make sure only their people can vote. That is a huge difference.

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