A 63-year-old Farmington man has been charged on suspicion of making violent threats against presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as well as other elected officials, on social media.
According to court filings, someone contacted the U.S. Secret Service in Albuquerque on April 19 about threatening posts on Facebook allegedly made by Steve Wayne Barton.
Examples of posts include: “If Trump Wins? Kill Him,” “If Biden Wins? Kills Him,” “Save America Now! Murder Every Politician Holding Office in America!”
The Secret Service contacted Barton on April 20, court documents show, and he was apologetic and said he would remove the posts and not make similar posts in the future.
On Aug. 18, however, authorities were alerted that Barton allegedly made a post that said “TRUMP IS SATAN! KILL HIM & HIS FAMILY! THIS IS MY COMMAND!”
Further investigation showed Barton made threatening posts throughout summer on multiple accounts and under fictitious names. Investigators also reported finding video of Barton threatening to shoot President Trump.
Barton was interviewed by the Secret Service and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 25, and he admitted to making the posts, court documents show.
Barton was charged Aug. 26 on suspicion of threatening the president and a count of threatening a major candidate for the office of the president. He is out of custody awaiting trial.
If convicted, Barton faces up to five years in prison for each count.