A Wilmington, Ohio man who uploaded YouTube videos of himself participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill was charged Friday with making interstate threats and threatening to kill a viewer who implied they would report him. He could spend 25 years in federal prison if convicted.
According to federal prosecutors, 40-year-old Justin Stoll posted YouTube videos of himself outside the Capitol with other Trump supporters who had come to answer the lame-duck president’s call: Fight the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election that had selected Joe Biden, not Donald Trump, for the nation’s highest office.
“You ain’t got enough cops, baby!” Stoll said in one video, according to prosecutors. “We are at war at the Capitol.”
“It’s become a very useful tool, but it’s a double-edged sword,” Crime Stoppers president and former University of Cincinnati Police Chief Gene Ferrara said of social media. “What it does for police in an investigation, is it provides a trail.”
In another video, Stoll debated what to wear to the event.
“Basically, if you are an enemy combatant, you will be shot on sight,” he allegedly said.
“(The) First Amendment is not an absolute right,” Ferrara said. “You still can’t threaten people. You can’t menace people.”
When one YouTube viewer left a comment saying they had saved Stoll’s video, he responded with another threatening violence against them.
“If you ever, in your f——— existence, did something to jeopardize taking me away from my family, you will absolutely meet your maker,” he said. “You can play that for the D.A. in court, I don’t care. If you ever jeopardize me from being with my family, you will absolutely meet your motherf——— maker and I will be the one to arrange the meeting.”
Stoll was arrested Friday morning by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The FBI continues to investigate the events at the capitol and more local arrests could come.
“Social media is a very valuable tool for us to get the word out that we’re looking for someone in a particular crime,” Ferrara said. “It can be used to benefit criminal activity, but it can be used by the police to investigate criminal activity.”
The Fusion Center, which analyzes terror threats in the Cincinnati area, says it’s not aware of any issues right now.
This story was originally published by Sarah Walsh and Kristen Swilley on WCPO.