Federal Grand Jury Indicts Frederick Man Accused of Threatening Biden, Harris

    A Frederick man was indicted by a federal grand jury for threatening President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris during the 2020 campaign.

    The indictment was returned late Wednesday, according to federal prosecutors.

    James Dale Reed, 42, had been charged with making the threat against a major candidate for president or vice president in late October.

    A doorbell camera caught an image of James Dale Reed, a Frederick man arrested for leaving threatening notes about former vice president Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala D. Harris on neighbors’ doorsteps. Photo via Frederick Police.

    According to federal prosecutors, Reed left a threatening letter on the doorstep of a neighbor who displayed Biden-Harris lawn signs in early October. The handwritten letter, with “WARNING” written in red ink at the top, threatened people who display Biden-Harris yard signs, as well as the candidates themselves, and other public figures with physical harm and execution.

    If convicted, Reed faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. The case was investigated by Frederick Police and the U.S. Secret Service.

    “We take these types of threats extremely seriously. The right to vote and peacefully support the candidate of your choice are bedrocks of our democracy,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur said in a statement following the indictment. “Alleged conduct like this that threatens major candidates and fellow citizens only undermines our democracy and the principles upon which America was founded. We will hold accountable those who seek to intimidate, harass or dissuade Americans from exercising their right to vote.”

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines covered government and politics for Maryland Matters for two years before moving into an editing position. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post ― as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at The Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.