BROWNSVILLE, Texas (U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas) — A 19-year-old resident of Harlingen made an appearance in federal court today and admitted he was responsible for threatening to destroy the Federal Reserve, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Joel Hayden Schrimsher pleaded guilty to conveying false or misleading information through the internet concerning the potential destruction of a federal building.
On June 6, 2019, authorities learned of an online threat made via Twitter from the username @HaydenJool displayed as @Hayden Ter(rawr)ist. They quickly identified Schrimsher as the source. The investigation also revealed a post on his account relaying a family conversation which ended with “Me: I’m gonna mail a bomb to the Federal Reserve.”
Law enforcement executed a search warrant for Schrimsher’s home in Harlingen on June 6, 2019. At that time, they discovered physical and documentary evidence in his room consistent with the message he sent about the Federal Reserve building. After Schrimsher’s arrest, authorities also found a photo in his cellphone of a fake certificate declaring him as “Most Likely to Damage Federal Property.”
Schrimsher admitted to having the account @HaydenJool and name Hayden Ter(rawr)ist as well as making a tweet about bombing and damaging a Federal Reserve building. He claimed he was being “edgy” when he made the threats.
U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez will impose sentencing Nov. 30 at 8:30 a.m., at which time Schrimsher faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 maximum possible fine. He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The FBI, Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, Harlingen Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jody Young and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting the case.