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  Teen Gets Probation In Case Involving Threat To Shoot Federal Lawmen  
  “I was an immature kid, messing around on-line”:   July 16, 2020 Edition  
     BY JOHN A. DARNELL JR.
      associate editor
      19-year-old Justin Olsen, of Presidential Dr., Boardman, who said he was “messing around on-line” when he posted “shoot every federal agent on sight,” was ordered for a mental evaluation and was granted three years of probation last week by U.S. District Court Judge Solomon Oliver Jr.
      Olsen was arrested last August shortly after he turned 18-years-old after making on-line posts under the moniker of ‘The Army of Christ.’ In the posts he wrote about mass shootings, attacks on Planned Parenthood, bombing gay bars and supported stocking-up on weapons federal government could possibly ban. The Army of Christ had some 4,000 followers.
      Authorities rushed to arrest Olsen just three days after mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas with a Boardman Court prosecutor citing the attacks as a justification for an ‘urgent arrest.’
      Olsen, a 2019 graduate of Boardman High School where he maintained a 3.8 grade average, was arrested on Aug. 7 at his father’s home on Oakridge Dr. and spent the next four and a half months in the Mahoning County Jail until he entered a guilty plea to threatening a federal law enforcement officer and was released to the custody of his mother.
      His sentencing hearing had been postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
      “I was an immature kid messing around on-line,” Olsen told Judge Oliver. “I would really like to move on and show people that that’s not who I am.” He also told the judge “The time I spent in the county jail was a harsh awakening.”
      His attorney, J. Gerald Ingram, called his client’s posts “reckless, foolhardy and inappropriate.” He urged leniency, saying Olsen had never been in trouble in the past.
      Ingram said his client has no prior criminal record and hopes to attend college in the future.
      Assistant U.S. Attorney Yasmine Makridis said Olsen had thousands of online followers, and she feared his words could incite violence.
      “It is my sincere hope that he learns from this,” Makridis said.
      In accepting the plea, the prosecution did not have to fight a motion to suppress evidence seized during a ‘protective sweep’ of Olsen’s father’s home on Aug. 7. filed by Atty. Ingram.
      Counsel had claimed the so-called “protective sweep” conducted on Aug. 7 violated his client’s constitutional rights. During that ‘sweep,’ law enforcement authorities found a reported 10,000 rounds of ammunition, as well as guns in a gun safe that belonged to Olsen’s father, Eric.
      “Eric informed all of the law enforcement officers that he was a competitive marksman, and that all of the firearms and ammunition belonged to him,” Atty. Ingram said in the motion to suppress, adding there was a camera on top of the safe that would automatically alert Mr. Olsen if it detected any motion.
      “Eric Olsen never received an alert that Justin was attempting to gain access to the safe,” Atty. Ingram said.
      “Based upon the facts and applicable law, there are no articuable facts the government can present that would warrant a reasonable prudent officer in believing that the area...swept harbored an individual posing a danger to those on the...scene.
      “As a result of evidence improperly viewed during the illegal protective sweep, law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for the Oakridge Dr. property,” defense counsel said, noting “The search violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizures.”
      Atty. Ingram claimed in order for the ‘protective sweep’ in Olsen’s case “to pass constitutional scrutiny,’ the government (prosecution) had to be able to present facts showed someone was at the Oakridge Dr. home who posed a danger to law enforcement.
      Defense counsel said the camera on top of the gun safe shows that no law enforcement official “appears to be fearful for their well-being---the stark reality is much to the contrary.
      “Officers are chit-chatting with one another...and can be heard laughing and joking as they search Eric Olsen’s room.”
 
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