PORTLAND, Ore. – A 39-year-old was arrested in Montana Tuesday, accused of threatening Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Instagram.
Kermit Tyler Poulson was indicted in federal court with transmitting threatening communications with the intent to extort Mayor Wheeler.
Poulson was arrested in Missoula after he went to police to file a complaint on an unrelated matter. Poulson recently lived in Portland, but doesn’t have a permanent address listed.
If convicted, Poulson faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon said.
“Using social media to extort or threaten violence against any citizen is a crime. This conduct is unacceptable in any context and has no respectable place in public discourse. Threats of violence, both in person and on social media, are taken very seriously by federal law enforcement,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
The Portland FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force worked with the Portland Police Bureau to investigate the case.
“Every day, the Portland JTTF’s role is to assess, address and mitigate threats against the people of Oregon. If you become aware of someone threatening violence against others, we ask that you contact us right away so we can work with you to create a safe community for all,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.