Man arrested for threats that closed Anderson County schools

This is a photo released by the Shelby County Detention Center in Shelbyville Ky., shows Dylan Jarrell, who has been charged with harassing communications and terroristic threatening in relation to a threat against schools in Shelby and Anderson counties. Jarrell, 20, was arrested Thursday evening, Oct. 18, 2018, and authorities found a firearm, more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, a 100-round high capacity magazine and a detailed plan of attack in his possession, state police said. (Shelby County Detention Center via AP)

LEXINGTON — Dylan Lee Jarrell, of Lawrenceburg, was sentenced Wednesday to 120 months in federal prison, by U.S District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, for making threats to and intimidating two individuals over social media, illegally possessing a firearm in furtherance of one of those threats and lying to an FBI agent during an investigation.

In May 2018, Jarrell used an anonymous Reddit account to make a series of posts suggesting he was planning a school shooting. FBI visited Jarrell’s home and questioned him and others about the posts.

Jarrell lied about his internet activities in response to FBI personnel. Then, over the next few months, Jarrell purchased an AR-15 rifle, a bump stock, high capacity magazines, ammunition,and body armor — each of which he intended to use in a planned attack on Shelby County High School.

Jarrell also considered an alternate plan to murder an individual identified as D.B. On Sept. 24, 2018, Jarrell used Instagram to send a series of private direct messages to D.B., including a threat to attack D.B. with the AR-15 rifle he possessed at the time. On Oct. 17, 2018, Jarrell sent a series of racially motivated harassing messages to a Facebook account used by a second individual, K.B.

Federal and state law enforcement confronted Jarrell on Oct. 18, 2018, and searched his mobile phone, among other things and places. The search revealed evidence of Jarrell’s plans to attack Shelby County High School.

Jarrell was taken into state custody and admitted planning to attack the high school and D.B., and to purchasing the AR-15 rifle as part of his plans. Jarrell was charged by federal criminal complaint on Oct. 26, 2018, and indicted by a federal grand jury on May 2, 2019. He entered guilty pleas to several federal crimes on Nov. 22, 2019.

“Halted by the work of dedicated law enforcement professionals who confronted and stopped him, Dylan Jarrell was intent on committing horrific acts of violence on innocent people,” said Robert M. Duncan Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “The investigation conducted by KSP and FBI personnel almost certainly saved lives. The seriousness of Jarrell’s crimes and the danger he presented to the public certainly justify the sentence he received.”

“Hiding behind anonymous social media accounts to intimidate and threaten others is a prevalent issue in today’s world,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown, FBI Louisville Field Office. “After Jarrell lied to federal agents and continued making threats online to both individuals and a school, FBI and KSP investigators successfully intercepted him before a potential mass casualty took place. As this case illustrates, the FBI and our law enforcement partners take online threats seriously and will work together to bring these perpetrators to justice before they harm any citizens of the Commonwealth.”

“Nothing is more paramount to our agency than the safety of Kentucky’s children,” said Rodney Brewer, Commissioner of KSP. “We hope this sends a strong message to anyone who would contemplate a harmful act in one of our schools."

Under federal law, Jarrell must serve 85% of his prison sentence, and upon his release, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for five years.

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