A Texas man is facing federal indictment after he threatened a doctor who was advocating for vaccinations, the District of Maryland Attorney’s Office announced in a statement Tuesday.
Scott Eli Harris, 51, of Aubery, Texas, has been charged for threats he made to the Maryland doctor across state lines. The indictment was made on September 29 of this year and has been publicly unsealed as of Tuesday.
It is being alleged that on July 12, 2021, Harris sent a threat to the Maryland doctor via cell phone because of her advocacy for the COVID-19 vaccine. He sent threatening messages over state lines, such as, “Never going to take your wonder drug. My 12 gauge promises I won’t… I can’t wait for the shooting to start,” as revealed in the U.S. Attorney District of Maryland’s press release.
“We take seriously threats and intimidation, and this charge makes clear that such conduct will be prosecuted federally,” said United States Attorney Erek L. Barron. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those making such threats.”
If Harris is convicted, he will face a maximum five-year-sentence in federal prison, as stated in the press release by the U.S. Attorney’s office. However, actual sentences for federal crimes vary and usually are lower than the maximum sentence.
Harris is expected to make his initial appearance at U.S. District Court in Plano, Texas on Wednesday at 10:00 am CT, as stated by the Department of Justice.
Harris’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore is to be scheduled at a later date.
Vaccine advocates have been recently facing violence and harassment.
California police cited an anti-vaccine supporter for assault of a pro-vaccine legislator in August, U.S. News reported a series of incidents over the summer of vaccine proponents facing violence and harassment, the LA Times put out a story of a person who was stabbed snd a reporter who was assaulted as anti-vaccine demonstrators clashed with vaccine proponents, and just a few weeks ago, anti-vaccine protestors tore down a COVID-19 testing center in New York.