A former Massachusetts deputy threatened to burn down a courthouse, kill officers and wage a “war” on the justice system, federal officials said.
Joshua P. Ford, 42, of Kingston was arrested and is in state custody, according to an Aug. 30 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
An attorney for the man could not immediately be reached for comment by McClatchy News.
Ford, who served as a sheriff’s deputy in Middlesex County between 2009 and 2017, detailed his plans in emails and videos, federal officials said.
In emails sent to more than 100 law enforcement officers, he wrote, there “is no more justice system anymore just WAR,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.
“I am calling on all able bodied officers my brothers in blue to suit up for a fight,” he wrote, according to the news release.
He requested that officers gather weapons and armored vehicles and wrote, “Tomorrow we burn down the Plymouth County Court house to the ground,” federal officials said.
The emails also included a link to a video in which Ford, speaking to the camera, says the justice system is corrupt, federal officials said.
Addressing Middlesex County deputies, he said, “I am coming to get you,” federal officials said. He then said he wanted to injure and “kill” officers of the court in an attack he said would take place on March 14, officials said.
Law enforcement arrested him on March 13.
A federal grand jury indicted Ford on multiple counts of interstate transmission of a threatening communication on Aug. 30, officials said. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison, officials said.
“The threats made by this former employee against our Middlesex Sheriff’s Office staff and court personnel in Plymouth County were alarming and deeply disturbing,” a spokesperson for the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office said in a statement provided to McClatchy News.
“We are grateful to our local law enforcement partners who acted swiftly to take Mr. Ford into custody, as well as to the FBI and US Attorney’s Office who have now secured this federal indictment,” the statement said.