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10 September 1998: Link to related files: http://jya.com/cejfiles.htm
9 September 1998: Add links to cited Cypherpunks messages.
8 September 1998
Source: Hardcopy from anonymous
I hereby certify that the
AUG 19 1998
United States District Court
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CARL EDWARD JOHNSON
|WARRANT FOR ARREST
DAZ # 98-2824m
CASE NO. 98-430M
The United States Marshal
and any Authorized United States Officer
YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED to arrest CARL EDWARD JOHNSON
and bring him forthwith to the nearest magistrate to answer a
charging him with (brief description of offense)
THREATENING FEDERAL OFFICIALS
In violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section(s)115(a)
Name of Issuing Officer: RICARDO S. MARTINEZ
Title of Issuing Officer: U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Signature of Issuing Officer: [Signature]
Date and Location: August 5, 1998, at Seattle, Washington
Bail fixed at $ ____________________ by________________________
This warrant was received and executed with the arrest of the above-named
at Tucson, AZ
DATE OF ARREST 8/18/98
NAME OF ARRESTING OFFICER Jeff Gordon [Signature]
USA, PSA, Cnsl
I hereby certify that the
AUG 5 1998
|Magistrate Judge Martinez|
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CARL EDWARD JOHNSON
|MAGISTRATE'S DOCKET NO.
CASE NO. 98-430M
COMPLAINT for VIOLATION
U.S.C. Title 18
BEFORE, Ricardo S. Martinez, United States magistrate Judge,
United States Courthouse, 1010 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, Washington
The undersigned complainant being duly sworn states:
Beginning on or about June 23, 1997, and continuing through December 9, 1997, at Tacoma and elsewhere, within the Western district of Washington, CARL EDWARD JOHNSON did threaten to kill certain law enforcement officers and judges of the United States, with intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with said officers and judges on account of their official duties.
All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 115(a)(1)(B).
1. I am an Inspector with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), United States Department of the Treasury. I am currently assigned to the IRS Internal Security Division. I have been so employed for ten years. During such employment I have investigated numerous cases involving criminal threats to kill, injure, obstruct, impede, threaten and intimidate IRS
[Footer all pages of complaint; hereafter omitted]
|COMPLAINT/JOHNSON -- 1||
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
and other Government employees. I have also conducted numerous investigations involving the use of computers and the Internet. Since June of 1997, I have been case agent assigned to the investigation of a series of threats that have appeared on the Internet against several federal judges and Internal Revenue officers engaged in law enforcement functions.
2. The investigation began as a offshoot of another, similar investigation which resulted in a federal conviction of James Dalton Bell for making threats against certain IRS officers within the Western District of Washington. In the investigation of Mr. Bell, it was discovered that he had posted a plan (titled "Assassination Politics") on the Internet, offering users of the Internet a method for anonymously funding the assassinations of IRS and other Government officials, for the stated purpose of overthrowing the Government. Bell proposed in the plan that the system be set up as a computerized gambling operation where the assassin "predicted" the date of death of the Government employee, with the assassination payoff being funneled to the assassin as proceeds from the bet. Bell heavily promoted this plan in electronic mail messages (e-mail) that he exchanged with an Internet group known as the "Cypherpunks." During the investigation of Bell I noted that Bell exchanged both private and public e-mail messages with an unidentified person using the name "Toto."
3. On March 28, 1997, federal Magistrate Judge J. Kelley Arnold signed a federal search warrant for Bell's residence. I was the affiant on the search warrant affidavit. A search was conducted on April 1, 1997, and the search warrant return listed IRS employees Cindy Nelson and Cindy Brown as being involved in the inventory of items at Bell's residence. Shortly thereafter, a member of the Cypherpunks group stated via the Internet that he had obtained a copy of the warrant and return, and publicly posted them on the Internet. On May 16, 1997, Bell was arrested and charged with Corruptly Obstructing and Impeding Employees of the IRS and using a False Social Security Number, and he later pleaded guilty to those charges.
4. On June 23, 1997, an anonymous message was posted to the Cypherpunks Internet mailing list. [A "mailing list" consists of the e-mail addresses of individuals who have signed up to receive messages sent to the list.] The message stated in part: " 'Dead Lucky' is
an Assassination Politics Bot operated in response to the illegal and unconstitutional imprisonment of an American citizen ..." The message also stated that:
"Leading eCa$h candidate for dying at an opportune time to make some perennial loser 'Dead Lucky' are:
J. Kelley Arnold, United States Magistrate Judge,
Union Station Courthouse, 1717 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington
Jeffrey Gordon, Inspector with the Internal Revenue Service,
Internal Security Division
Inspector Cindy Nelson
5. Based on my training and experience, I know that "Bot" is a slang term for an automated computer program. I also know that "e$" and "eCa$h" are slang terms for electronic or digital cash, which was a major component of Bell's Assassination Politics proposal. I know that digital cash has been tested and used on the Internet on a limited basis. Digital cash involves the use of encrypted numbers which can be anonymously traded via the Internet. The encrypted numbers signify a cash value, which the bearer can redeem by presenting to the issuing maker or indorser [as written]. [By analogy, digital cash is like a digital "poker chip" issued by a particular casino.]
6. On September 4, 1997, a second message involving "Dead Lucky" was anonymously posted to the Cypherpunks group. This message stated in part: "If you can correctly predict the date and time of death of others then you can win large prizes payable in untaxable, untraceable eca$h." This message also made reference to an Internet web page of a "carljohn" carried on the Internet system maintained by the Canadian Internet company Sympatico.
7. Using the Internet, I reviewed the contents of the "carljohn" Internet web page. Among the documents I discovered was a copy of Bell's Assassination Politics plan. I also
discovered within the "carljohn" file folder an interactive page titled "Dead Lucky". On the page was the statement: "If you can correctly predict the date and time of death of others then you can win large prizes payable in untaxable, untraceable eca$h." The page also contained blank fields for input of "Name of Future Deceased," "Location," "Predicted Date of Death," and "Predicted Time of Death." Also on the page was the statement "Contest will officially begin after Posting of Rules and Announcement of Official Starting Date (Until then it is for Entertainment Purposes Only)". I ran a test of the program by selecting the submit button and noted that the program accepted information placed in the blank fields and generated a confirmation number.
8. On December 9, 1997, an anonymous message was posted to the Cypherpunks Internet mail group with the subject listed as "Encrypted InterNet DEATH THREAT!!! / ATTN: Ninth District Judges / PASSWORD: sog"[.] The body of the message was encrypted with the publicly available encryption software PGP, and was initially unreadable. Using PGP software and the password shown in the subject line of the message, I was able to decrypt the message, which contained a rambling, five-page statement, including the following:
"I feel it is necessary to make a stand and declare that I stand ready and willing to fight to the death against anyone who takes it upon themselves to try to imprison me behind an ElectroMagnetic Curtain. This includes the Ninth District Court judges ...
I will share the same 'DEATH THREAT!!!' with Judges Fletcher, Nelson and Bright that I have shared with the President and a host of Congressional and Senatorial representatives:
"you can [expletive] some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you are going to end up in a body bag or a pine box before you manage to [expletive] all of the people all of the time."
Am I going to whack you out: Maybe ...
I can also be tied into Jim Bell's Worldwide Conspiracy to assassinate government authorities, through my implementation of an Assassination Bot ..."
9. I noted that this message contained a PGP digital signature. From my training and experience, I am aware that this digital signature is used as a way to authenticate digital documents to make sure that they are authored by the purported author and that no one has tampered with them. When I checked the signature using only PGP software, the PGP
program was unable to identify it. On July 1, 1998, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Investigator Steve Foster provided me with a PGP "Secret Key Ring" which he stated he had obtained from a computer which Canadian Customs authorities had seized from an individual by the name of CARL EDWARD JOHNSON. [A "secret key ring" is a user-generated code which allows for the encryption (and later authentication) of computer-generated documents.] When I checked the digital signature on the Internet death threat using the PGP software and JOHNSON'S secret key ring, the computer identified the signature as one of the signature keys stored in JOHNSON'S computer. Because both the "private" and "public" portions of the "key" were stored on JOHNSON'S computer, the message can be authenticated as having been generated by the person who possessed this "secret key" and knew the correct password. In other words, only the person possessing the secret key found on JOHNSON'S computer could have generated the "death threat" message.
10. I have also spoken by phone with Special Agent Jeremy Sheridan of the United States Secret Service. Sheridan told me that on July 31, 1998, he located and interviewed Carl JOHNSON at 1800 West Magee, in Tucson, Arizona. The address belongs to a Linda Reed, who, according to Canadian police authorities, is a friend of JOHNSON'S. During this interview JOHNSON admitted that he often wrote on the Internet and among the names he used were Toto, C.J. Parker, and TruthMonger. Johnson also stated that he had been using the Internet account of Linda Reed. Sheridan showed JOHNSON a decrypted copy of the December 9, 1997 Internet message entitled "Encrypted InterNet DEATH THREAT!!! / ATTN: Ninth district Court Judges / PASSWORD: sog." JOHNSON acknowledge that he wrote it. JOHNSON also stated that he had significant psychological problems.
11. On December 14, 1997, a message was posted to the Cypherpunks group discussing the Bell case. The message stated in part:
It is also easy to reach the conclusion that the AP-BOT results sent to the Oregonian and to the officials involved (via their internal email systems) played a hand in the judges 'vacation' before Bell's delayed sentencing. (Or that petty government officials involved in the Bell case were not impressed with the fact that they were becoming the source of valuable digital prizes in the AP-BOT community, without receiving the same protection as those who were behind the criminal malefeasance
directed at Bell.)
12. This message stated it was from "Human Gus-Peter", but did not contain a PGP signature for authentication. Based on the documents contained on the "carljohn" web page, the documents provided to me by Canadian investigator Foster, various messages I have read which were posted to the Cypherpunks group, and the information provided me by Special Agent Sheridan, I know that Johnson uses multiple aliases on the Internet. I have also observed strong similarities between the style and content of messages authored by JOHNSON and the one purportedly authored by "Human Gus-Peter."
13. RCMP Investigator Foster advised me that he was investigating Johnson relating to statements and threats made on the Internet against RCMP officers. Foster advised me that as part of his investigation he executed search warrants for a residence used by JOHNSON in Canada and for the Sympatico Internet provider. Foster said he had reviewed the contents of two computers seized from JOHNSON (one seized in the search of the residence, the other taken from JOHNSON when he crossed the U.S. border into Canada in the Spring of 1998). Foster also told me that he had investigated the "carljohn" Internet site. Foster advised me that logs of telephone calls made from Johnson's residence on March 25, 1998, matched exactly the times of accesses to the Internet account controlling the "carljohn" web site, which is where the "Assassination Politics Bot" program was found.
14. I have also spoken by phone on many occasions with Estevan, Canada Police Sergeant Del Block. Block told me that he is investigating a bomb that was discovered in the basement of the Estevan courthouse on June 3, 1998. Block advised me that Carl JOHNSON has been formally charged with placing the bomb and that a warrant for his arrest has been issued in Canada. Block advised me that he believes that JOHNSON fled to the United States after placing the bomb in the Estevan courthouse.
15. On June 10, 1998 [sic], an anonymous message was posted to the Cypherpunks Internet group. In the message, it is stated that the bomber "placed the bomb before embarking on a middle-leg of the TruthMonger SoftTarget Tour of Planet Terra." The message also
referenced an RCMP plan to "drive a known madman crazy enough to finally put him away turned bad, and resulted in a backlash of death and destruction ..." I noted that this message contained information about the courthouse bomb incident which had not previously been made public, and was written in a style and manner which I recognized as being similar to other writings which my investigation has linked to JOHNSON. In his interview with Special Agent Sheridan, JOHNSON acknowledged using the name TruthMonger, and also stated he had psychological problems, both of which correspond to this message.
16. Over the last several months I have read numerous messages posted to the Cypherpunks Internet group coming from an account registered to Linda Reed.These messages have included first-person discussions of the RCMP's seizures of JOHNSON's computers, the James Bell case, and other specific items involving JOHNSON which lead me to believe they are authored by JOHNSON. Based on the similarities in the content and style of these messages with others known to be written by JOHNSON, and on JOHNSON's acknowledgement to Special Agent Sheridan that he used the Linda Reed account, I believe that JOHNSON is the author of the "Linda Reed" messages.
17. I have reviewed a message posted to the Cypherpunks list on July 25, 1998 from the Linda Reed account. This message discusses the use of biochemical agents in terrorist attacks. In another message posted to the Cypherpunks list, dated July 27, 1998, the author discusses wanting to take revenge against the RCMP, and also states a belief that James Bell was "set up" and "railroaded." The following was also contained in the message:
"Unless one is prepared to actually take action to prevent abuse of authority, and to hold those responsible for high-handed, unethical and illegal actions against the Citizens, then the process of 'discussion' on these issues is mere Philosophical Masturbation.
The revolution is NOW!
All that really needs to be said, is "BOOM!"
18. Based on the above information, I believe that CARL EDWARD JOHNSON has been engaging in a continuing attempt to intimidate, impede, and interfere with law enforcement agents of the IRS (Gordon, Brown and Nelson), Federal Judges (the district court judges in the Ninth Circuit and Ninth Circuit Judges Fletcher, Nelson, and Bright), and
a United States Magistrate Judge (Arnold), all on account of, and during the performance of, their official responsibilities.
19. Shortly after I learned of the threat against Magistrate Judge Arnold and its accompanying listing of his address, I notified the U.S. Marshal's Service, which in turn notified Judge Arnold of the threat in Tacoma. When bringing a charge under this statue (18 U.S.C. § 115), venue is proper in the district in which the threat is received or where any victim is found. See United States v. Newsom, 9 F.3d 337 (4th Cir. 1993).
Jeff Gordon, Complainant
Complaint and affidavit sworn to before me and subscribed in my presence, August 5 , 1998.
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ
United States Magistrate Judge
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