Mississippi man charged with threatening federal judge

Published 5:06 pm Monday, July 27, 2020

A federal grand jury indicted a Mississippi man accused of threatening to harm a federal judge at a U.S. district courthouse in New Orleans, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Bryant Lamont Harris, 46, of Monticello, Mississippi, was charged Friday with threatening a federal judge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana announced in a statement.

A criminal complaint obtained by The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate accused Harris of calling U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan’s office in February and complaining “angrily” to a staffer about the city’s police department. Morgan was involved with overseeing the agency’s ongoing federal reform plan, the news outlet said.

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During the February call, Harris described himself as “an expertly trained marksman” and asked how many employees he would need to “take out to get to the judge,” according to the criminal complaint.

Other records obtained by the newspaper showed that in 2013, Harris filed a federal lawsuit accusing the police department of working “in cahoots with” judges when he was convicted in a criminal damage case.

Authorities also said Harris had previous arrests on charges including threatening communications and stalking and had called the judge’s office, the police department and the FBI’s New Orleans division in the past.

Morgan’s staff reported the call to U.S. Marshals and he was later jailed.

The indictment was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. A judge set Harris’ arraignment for Aug. 3.

If convicted, the Harris faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, according to the Justice Department.

His attorney declined to comment over the weekend, according to the newspaper.