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Branson man faces prison time for Instagram threat to LA deputies

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Branson, Missouri man who promised “there will be blood” in a social media threat to Los Angeles deputies is facing federal prison time for his Instagram inanity.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Missouri said Joshua Bippert, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday to transmitting a threat across state lines to injure another person.

Bippert admitted to sending the threat on Sept. 20, 2020, in response to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s post about the arrest of a felon suspected of ambushing two deputies in their patrol car.

In a private message to the department’s Instagram account, Bippert wrote: “Recently a couple of your officers arrested a man for owning a firearm. If you want more of your officers to end up like the two that got shot while sitting in their patrol car then go ahead and keep the charges. Release the man who did nothing wrong but keep his second amendment rights or there will be blood. This is a threat.” [sic]

The following day, Bippert posted a comment on the sheriff’s department’s post: “for me, the most irritating part is living in the midwest and not on the border to California where I could take a nice short drive to water the tree of liberty.” [sic]

Investigators and prosecutors also saw a separate post from Bippert in which he tagged the department: “Forget the constitution. We need to end gun control by any means necessary. Yes I do mean violence.” [sic]

Bippert faces up to five years in prison without parole.

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