Middle Georgia man sentenced for threats to White House, local judges
A judge sentenced 56-year-old Travis Ball to 2.5 years in prison
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Middle Georgia man is sentenced to prison for threatening to kill the president and blow up the White House. This follows an investigation that included multiple death threats against Middle Georgia judges, law enforcement and a threat letter containing a white powdery substance sent to the U.S. Courthouse in Macon in 2021.
A judge sentenced 56-year-old Travis Ball to 2.5 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Ball must also pay a $7,500 fine after pleading guilty to threats against the President.
“Sending death threats and purported anthrax is not protected speech — it is a crime,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “I applaud the investigative work by our federal and local law enforcement partners to secure justice in this case.”
According to court documents and other evidence, Ball sent a series of letters using another individual’s name as an alias. Letters went to a variety of local and county government offices and officials, including judges with the Superior Court of Jones County and the Jones County Sheriff’s Office in March 2021.
On March 23, 2021, a threat letter signed with the same name and the same return address was received at the U.S. District Courthouse for the Middle District of Georgia. The letter contained a white powdery substance. The federal law enforcement agencies began investigating the source of the letters and identified Ball as the suspected author.
On March 23, 2021, a warrant was executed at Ball’s residence where he was staying in the front living room. Federal agents reported that Ball slept on a cot and spent most of his time on a laptop computer and writing letters.
Agents seized several items, including a stack of white leaflet notebook paper that matched the threat letters found on the mantle above his cot. The top page had the impression of a letter that contained an explicit threat against President Joe Biden on March 8, 2021. The letter stated the follow:
“HATE YOU JOE BIDEN AND AM GOING TO KILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND EVERYONE IN THE WHITEHOUSE! I’M A PSYCHO KILLER AND AM GOING TO BLOWUP THE WHITEHOUSE AND KILL EVERYONE IN IT! IM SERIOUS AND NOT KIDDING! LOCK ME UP OR ALL OF YOU WILL DIE! HAVE SOME ANTHRAX YOU B****S!”
The White House Mail Sorting Facility received the letter on March 30, 2021, which was turned over to U.S. Secret Service.
Ball was convicted of felony hoax threats in the Northern District of Georgia in June 2017 after he sent letters to the State Bar of Georgia and to Atlanta Newspapers in 2016 that contained a white powdery substance with threats to “kill all of you” and “have some anthrax.” Ball was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release on June 23, 2017.