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Case 6:15-mj-00153-TC

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AO 91 (Rev. I 1/11) Criminal Complaint

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


for the

fiLED300CT '1511:05 USDCORE

District of Oregon
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United States of America


V.

Stephen Gene Smith

Case No.
6:15-MJ- 15~ -Tl..-

Defendant(s)

CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
I, the complainant in this case, state that the following is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
On or about the date(s) of
District of

on or after August, 2015


Oregon

Code Section
18 U.S.C. 871

in the county of

Malheur

in the

, the defendant(s) violated:

Offense Description
Threats Against the President

This criminal complaint is based on these facts:


The attached affidavit of USSS SA Morgan West which is incoporated herein

~ Continued on the attached sheet.

Complainant's signature

USSS SA Morgan West


Printed name and title

Sworn to before me and signed in my presence.

Date:

City and state:

Eugene, Oregon

Thomas M. Coffin, United States Magistrate Judge


Printed name and title

Case 6:15-mj-00153-TC

STATE cJF OREGON


COUNTY OF LANE

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AFFIDAVIT

AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF COMPLAINT AND ARREST WARRANT

I, Morgan West, Special Agent with the United States Secret Service, being duly sworn, state:
INTRODUCTION

1.

I have been a Special Agent of the United States Secret Service (USSS) since

2007. I am currently assigned to the Portland Resident Office in Portland, Ore. My duties as a
Special Agent include the investigation threats against the President and other high-level
government officials. During the course of my law enforcement career, I have investigated
threats against the President and other high-level government officials. In addition, in
preparation for my duties as a Special Agent, I received extensive training in personal protection,
the investigation of threats, as well as training in the investigation and enforcement of criminal
law at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. I am authorized to investigate violations
ofthe laws of the United States.
2.

I present this affidavit is support of an application for a criminal complaint and

arrest warrant for Stephen Gene SMITH. For the reasons described in this affidavit, there is
probable cause to believe that Smith violated 18 U.S.C. 871, which criminalizes making threats
against the President.
3.

This affidavit is based on my personal investigation and the investigation of

others, including federal and local law enforcement officials whom I know to be reliable and
trustworthy. The facts contained herein have been obtained by interviewing witnesses and
examining documents obtained in the course of the investigation as well as through other means.

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This affidavit does not include every fact known to me about this investigation, but rather only
those facts sufficient to establish probable cause.
STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE

4.

18 U .S.C. 871 (Threats Against the President and Successors to the Presidency)

provides as follows:
(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a
delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print,
missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict
bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice
President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of
the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise
makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other
officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice Presidentelect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
5.

SMITH resides in and around Ontario, Oregon. He has a lengthy criminal history,

including felony convictions for Robbery I and Burglary I. He has also used methamphetamine
in the past.
6.

SMITH came to the attention of the U.S. Secret Service in or about September,

2014, when he wrote a letter threatening to assassinate the President. The threat was
investigated but no action was taken. In or about August, 2015, SMITH wrote a similar letter
threatening to assassinate the President.
7.

Specifically, in that letter Smith stated:

... my name is Stephen Gene Smith and I'm writing to tell u [sic] I plan to use a
9mm and skip parole and go to D.C. and attempt to take a shot at the President of
the Unitated States of America Im backout of jail in less then 76 days Im only in
on a violation I do and know what Im saying and I do and know where to uptaine
a pistol to attemp what I wish to do u all didn't take me serious in the beging and
lets face it I was a little loopey But Ive got my head on right and I do know what
Im doing and looking at on top of everything else. I know what Im saying is a
federal offence And I do know that I can Be prosecuted for this But I reapeat I
plan to take a 9mm that I can gain access to and skip ... parole and go to D.C. and
attempt to kill Mr. Barock Obama the president of the United of States of

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America ...
(all spelling and punctuation errors in original)
8.

In October 2015, USSS SA Jim Hatch interviewed SMITH while he was in

custody at the Malheur County Jail regarding the August, 2015 letter. SMITH was advised of his
Miranda rights. SA HATCH made an audio recording ofthe interview. During the interview,

SMITH readily admitted to writing both letters and provided additional details regarding his plan
to assassinate the President.
9.

SA Hatch asked SMITH questions about his willingness and intention to harm the

President. SMITH repeatedly insisted on being taken seriously. SMITH stated that he had written
the letter while in custody in Malheur County jail. SA Hatch asked SMITH about his plan,
described in the August, 2015 letter, regarding killing the President. Smith indicated that it
would not be a problem to carry out the threats he had made.
10.

SMITH then detailed to SA Hatch how SMITH would hitchhike to Washington,

D.C., obtain a pistol by burglarizing a house, and shoot the President. SMITH stated that if he
couldn't "get to Obama" he would shoot any politician he could. SMITH described previous
episodes where he attempted to stalk judges and other government officials. SMITH stated that
he had considered traveling to Roseburg, Oregon during the President's recent visit there.
11.

SMITH has attempted to harm himself in the past, but he has not been diagnosed

with any mental health condition that I am aware of. I have spoken with SMITH via telephone
and found him to be lucid. I have spoken with numerous other law enforcement officers who
have had contact with SMITH. Law enforcement officers who have encountered SMITH after he
has used methamphetamine told me that SMITH exhibits common symptoms (per the National
Institute on Drug Abuse methamphetamine users can display "significant anxiety, confusion,

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insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior. They also may display a number of
psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions ... ").
When SMITH is not using methamphetamine, however, he presents as quick to anger but not
mentally ill.
12.

SMITH was released from the Malheur County Jail on October 23,2015, and was

placed on GPS monitoring. He was not permitted to leave Ontario, Oregon. On October 30,
2015, I was notified that SMITH had cut off his GPS monitoring device. His current
whereabouts are unknown.
CONCLUSION

13.

Based on the information above, there is probable cause to believe that SMITH

knowingly and willfully made a threat against the president, violating 18 U.S.C. 871.
14.

Assistant United States Attorney Amy Potter has reviewed this affidavit and

concurs that probable cause exists to charge and arrest Stephen Smith.

~~

Mor[allWeSt
Special Agent
United States Secret Service

Subscribed and sworn before me this

J0

th day of October 2015.

United States