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Profanity-laced threat against US Rep. Hank Johnson brings federal charge in Grand Rapids

Martin Osborn is accused of threatening U.S. Rep. Henry Johnson for 'your little bill for gun control,' asking: 'Terrified? You should be,' an indictment states.
Credit: Congress.gov
Henry Johnson has served as U.S. representative for Georgia’s 4th congressional district since 2007.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A western Michigan man has been charged with threatening U.S. Rep. Henry Johnson of Georgia, leaving a voicemail that referenced Johnson’s “little bill for gun control’’ and a desire to be at Johnson's bedside "knocking the living s--- out of you.’’

“You Democrats go ahead and keep on playing around and get a civil war going in this country,’’ Martin Dale Osborn stated in a voicemail, according to a two-page indictment in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.

“Do you remember the Romans? What happened there when they had enough? Yeah, they killed their politicians and the lawyers. Keep pushing it boy.’’

Osborn was arrested last week by an FBI agent in Bangor, Mich. He is charged with threatening a federal official, which is punishable by up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Osborn pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on Monday, July 20. He is free on an unsecured $5,000 bond.

According to the federal indictment, Osborn said: ‘‘One day you are going to see me. It’ll be about two o’clock in the morning. I’ll be at your bedside and all you’re going to see is me knocking the living s--- out of you.’’

The voicemail message ends: “You stupid arrogant piece of s---. Terrified? You should be. Stop with the bulls--- boy.’’

RELATED: Kentwood man sentenced for leaving threatening voicemail to Sen. Cory Booker

Johnson, a democrat, introduced H.R. 5717 in January that restricts the sale and possession of semiautomatic assault weapons. The bill would also raise the minimum age for purchasing firearms and requires law enforcement to be notified when someone does not pass a background check.

Federal authorities say Osborn made the threat in southwest Michigan’s Van Buren County “with the intent to intimidate Congressman Johnson while he was engaged in the performance of his official duties.’’

The June 29 threat was also made “with intent to retaliate against him on account of the performance of his official duties,’’ according to the indictment.

Osborn is the second person to be charged recently in West Michigan for making threats against a member of Congress.

Last year, a 52-year-old Kentwood man was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for a voicemail threat against Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Rick Lynn Simmons called Booker’s Camden N.J. office and left a profanity-laced voicemail in which he threatened to “put a nine-millimeter’ into Booker’s face.

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