The letter, delivered Oct. 4 about 4:30 a.m., also warned supporters of the Biden-Harris campaign that they would be targeted, according to a federal criminal complaint. “We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs,” read a letter included in the complaint. “We are the ones with those scary guns.”
Reed did not know the residents of the Frederick home, court documents said, but they had signs supporting Biden and Harris (D-Calif.) in their yard.
The charge comes just two weeks before Election Day, with concerns about voter intimidation mounting and some fearing that this historically tense political moment may turn violent.
“The right to vote and peacefully support the candidate of your choice are bedrocks of our democracy,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a statement. “We will not tolerate threatening conduct that seeks to intimidate, harass or dissuade Americans from exercising their right to vote.”
The investigation, led by the Secret Service and aided by the Frederick Police Department, identified Reed in part through footage from a home-security camera, prosecutors said. When they first approached him on Oct. 13, he denied involvement, court documents said. Two days later, under further questioning, Reed admitted leaving the letter and said “this will happen” in reference to the threatening comments, the criminal complaint said.
Reed is in state custody and could face up to five years in federal prison if convicted.
An attorney for Reed was not listed in court records, and his family could not be immediately reached.