Boardman teen charged with threatening fed, gay bar


By Justin Dennis

jdennis@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

A township teen accused of threatening gun violence at a gay bar and against federal officers will remain in the Mahoning County jail without bond until his preliminary hearing Tuesday for the “safety element of the community,” county Area Court Judge Joseph Houser ruled.

Justin Olsen, 18, of Oak Ridge Drive, appeared Thursday afternoon for arraignment on a felony count of aggravated menacing against federal officers as well as a misdemeanor count of telecommunications harassment, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Olsen will enter a plea to the felony charge in county common pleas court if indicted by a grand jury.

Michael McBride, county assistant prosecutor, requested Olsen be held without bond in light of recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton.

Though Olsen has been charged by Boardman police, McBride added he could face additional charges from other jurisdictions.

Olsen, who turned 18 a few months ago, faces up to one year in prison if convicted on the felony count.

A preliminary hearing on the charges at the Boardman court is expected to be set within the next 10 days.

Olsen’s mother attended the hearing, but declined to make any comment on his charges.

According to a township police report, Olsen wrote, “In conclusion, shoot every federal agent on-sight.”

Since February, Olsen has been making what FBI agents said appear to be politically motivated posts to online chat rooms “making light of mass shootings,” specifically targeting Planned Parenthood and including photos of an assault-rifle kit, according to the report.

One of Olsen’s posts from June stated he “can’t wait to start stockpiling weapons,” according to the report.

“McBride agreed that in light of the recent mass shootings in the United States that we could not wait to act on this information,” the officer wrote in his report.

Officers arrested Olsen on Wednesday at his home. He admitted making the posts to officers, but claimed all of it was “a joke, for fun.”

Police Chief Todd Werth said Thursday officers serving a search warrant there recovered a substantial number of firearms – including handguns and long guns and several boxes of ammunition – but added there’s no evidentiary link yet between the guns recovered and Olsen’s online activity.

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