A former Middlesex sheriff’s deputy was indicted Wednesday for allegedly threatening to blow up a courthouse and kill law enforcement officers.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy said a federal grand jury indicted Joshua Ford, 42, of Kingston, Massachusetts, on three counts of interstate transmission of a threatening communication. If convicted, Ford could be sentenced up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 on each charge.
Ford, who is currently being held in state custody, is accused of sending a dozen emails to around 140 people, most of them Massachusetts law enforcement officers, in which he calls for their help in burning down the Plymouth County Courthouse, breaking the arms and legs of every court officer and killing court security officers.
Ford also allegedly calls on law enforcement officers to come to the courthouse with gasoline, explosives, weapons and SWAT teams on March 14. Ford was arrested on March 13 after the emails were sent.
In a statement to WBUR, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office called the alleged threats "alarming and deeply disturbing."
"We are grateful to our local law enforcement partners who acted swiftly to take Mr. Ford into custody, as well as to the FBI and US Attorney’s Office who have now secured this federal indictment,” said the statement.
It is unclear what prompted Ford to send the emails. But the indictment references his belief that the justice system is corrupt. A phone number could not be found for Ford, and it is unclear if he has a lawyer.
With additional reporting from Deborah Becker.