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Nebraska Man Faces Up To 2 Years In Federal Prison For Social Media Threats Made Toward Colorado Elections Official

(CBS4) -- Travis Ford pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of making interstate threats to a Colorado elections official via social media, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Federal prosecutors from the Nebraska and Colorado attorney general offices filed the case against the 42-year-old Lincoln, Neb., resident Thursday and negotiated a plea deal the same day.

CBS4 has confirmed that Ford allegedly posted the threats in August of last year on one of the Instagram accounts belonging to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

Election Official Threats 1 (from CO SOS Office)
(credit: Colorado Secretary of State's Office)
Election Official Threats 2 (from CO SOS Office)
(credit: Colorado Secretary of State's Office)

"The Justice Department will not tolerate illegal threats of violence against public officials," U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland stated in a press release. "Threats of violence against election officials are dangerous for people's safety and dangerous for our democracy, and we will use every resource at our disposal to disrupt and investigate those threats and hold perpetrators accountable."

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"We are proud to work with our partners at FBI Denver, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nebraska, and the Justice Department's Criminal Division to hold this defendant accountable for threatening an election official in Colorado," U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan for the District of Colorado also stated. "If you make online threats of violence, do not count on remaining anonymous."

secretary of state
CBS4's Jeff Todd interviews Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. (credit: CBS)

Sec. of State Griswold added a statement as well:

"Elections officials across the country have been facing increased threats. It is heartening to see the Department of Justice taking these threats seriously and prosecuting people who make threats against election officials based on the Big Lie. As Colorado Secretary of State, I will always ensure that Colorado's elections remain among the safest and most secure in the nation and will never be deterred from doing my job. "

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Federal prosecutors maintain Ford also posted similar messages on Instagram pages associated with the President of the United States and with another public figure.

Ford is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 6 and faces up to two years in prison.

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