(WNY News Now) – In a recent development a 38-year-old resident of Lenoir, North Carolina, was apprehended and charged with making threats in interstate commerce.
Buffalo – Ryan Johnston, a 38-year-old from Lenoir, North Carolina, was arrested and charged via a criminal complaint for making threats in interstate commerce. This charge comes with a substantial maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Jacovetti, who is overseeing the case, explained that the complaint alleges that on the evening of August 18, 2023, a member of the Buffalo Police Department C-District received a call from an individual identifying himself as Ryan Johnston. During the call, Johnston displayed noticeable anger, and he soon began inundating various members of the C-District with more than 50 consecutive calls, persisting until approximately 3:00 a.m. These calls reportedly contained threats of violence, including threats to kill employees, which encompassed both professional staff and law enforcement officers. Additionally, some of the threats were reported to have a racial nature. Johnston was quoted as stating that he would come to Buffalo and shoot officers, asserting that he “didn’t give a (expletive).” On August 26, 2023, Johnston allegedly repeated similar threatening calls, this time directed at the Buffalo Police Department B-District, once again threatening to come to Buffalo and inflict harm upon officers. Subsequent investigations successfully traced these calls back to the defendant.
Ryan Johnston made an initial appearance in the Western District of North Carolina and will be transported to the Western District of New York at a later date to face the charges against him.
The criminal complaint that has led to Johnston’s arrest is the culmination of a collaborative investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the guidance of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia, and the Buffalo Police Department, operating under the leadership of Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.