Sacramento, California - Scott Anthony Orton, 57, of Puyallup, Washington, pled guilty Tuesday to transmitting interstate threats, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Orton posted several threatening statements on a popular news website in which he expressed his intent to travel to Placerville, California to kill an officer of the Placerville-based company, Stem Express LLC. On July 16, 2015, among other threats, Orton wrote, “The management of StemExpress should be taken by force and killed in the streets today. Kill StemExpress employees. I'll pay you for it.” Orton also identified the target of his threats by name, and wrote “I’ll pay ten grand to whomever beats me to [the target].”
“Terrorizing others through threats of violence, whether communicated in person or through media websites, is cruel, dangerous and disruptive, and is also a federal crime,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “As Mr. Orton now knows, those who seek to terrorize others online will be identified and prosecuted.”
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Brian A. Fogerty is prosecuting the case.
Orton is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge John A. Mendez on August 2, 2016. Orton faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.