Nebraska man charged with threatening election official

June 16, 2022, 4:23 p.m. ·

United State vs Travis Ford
Case heading on the plea agreement signed by Travis Ford

A Lincoln man could face two years in federal prison for threatening an election official.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the man pleaded guilty and admitted to using a social media account under an assumed name to launch the attacks.

Travis Ford has agreed to plead guilty to Threatening Use of a Telecommunications Device, a federal crime, according to a plea agreement filed with Nebraska's Federal District Court,

That filing indicates Travis Ford of Lincoln became so enraged by false claims of voter fraud in the Biden/Trump presidential election that he posted ominous threats on the Instagram account of an unnamed election official in Colorado. The state has been a hotbed for unsupported conspiracy theories claiming Trump won more votes.

In August, Someone working for the State of Colorado, identified in court documents as Public Official 1, reported to the police getting comments that seemed threatening under an Instagram photo. The comments, tied to the account of "d_h_mazer," warned the official, "Do you feel safe? You shouldn't." It also referred to international philanthropist George Soros, a frequent subject of conspiracy theorists.

A later post read: "Your security detail is far too thin and incompetent to protect you."

The same Instagram user reportedly made other threats to President Biden.

The plea deal including the admissions of threats made by Travis Ford against an election official
Admissions of threats made by Travis Ford against an election official

In February, law enforcement identified Travis Ford as the person making the anonymous posts. According to a plea agreement filed Thursday, Ford admitted the posts were "far, far, far beyond free speech" and were made at the time to be true threats.

Ford signed the plea agreement that included an admission called the Stipulation of Facts. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

In a media release, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated, "The Justice Department will not tolerate illegal threats of violence against public officials." He added threats against election officials are "dangerous for democracy, and we will use every resource at our disposal to disrupt and investigate those threats and hold perpetrators accountable."."

The investigation was part of a special Election Threats Task Force established last year. The group's mission is to address threats of violence against election workers, to assure, according to the DOJ website, that they "are able to do their jobs free from threats and intimidation."