DETROIT – A criminal complaint was filed yesterday against a resident of Epping, New Hampshire for sending threatening communications to the chair of the Wayne County Board of Canvasers (Adult Victim-1), announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.
Schneider was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit, Michigan and Director John Kosanke, Grosse Pointe Woods Police Department.
Charged was Katelyn Jones, 23, formerly of Olivet, Michigan. Jones was arrested this morning and will be making her initial appearance in federal court this afternoon.
“The allegations in this case should make all of us disgusted,” stated United States Attorney Schneider. “There is simply no place in Michigan, or in the United States, for chilling threats like this to people who are simply doing what they believe is correct.”
“Due to the potential wide scope of the investigation, we contacted the F.B.I. for their assistance in this case,” said Director Kosanke. “As a result of the combined efforts between the F.B.I. and our investigative team, led by Detective Ryan Schroerlucke, federal felony charges were filed. I would like to express appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in this investigation.”
According to the affidavit, on November 18, 2020, Jones is alleged to have knowingly and willfully transmitted communications containing threats to injure AV-1 and her family due to actions AV-1 took in her official capacity at Chair of the Wayne County Board of Canvasers. The affidavit describes a series of threatening text messages that were sent from a phone alleged to be associated with Jones to AV-1’s phone. In those texts Jones called AV-1 a racist and a terrorist and used graphic and profane language. It is also alleged that Jones sent AV-1 two graphic photographs of a bloody, naked, mutilated, dead woman lying on the ground. Immediately following, Jones sent AV-1 a photograph of AV-1’s minor daughter. AV-1 also received similar threats on her Instagram account.
If convicted, Jones faces up to 20 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
A complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilty. Defendant Jones is innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proving these charges lies entirely on the United States, and that burden never shifts to the defendant.