WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – A Follansbee, West Virginia, man was arrested Thursday on criminal charges related to his alleged obstruction and witness tampering in a federal trial.
Hardy Carroll Lloyd, age 45, was taken into custody early this morning without incident. According to the criminal complaint, Lloyd began commenting online about the federal hate crimes trial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of Robert Bowers, the Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooter. Lloyd, a self-proclaimed “reverend” of a white supremacy movement, made threatening social media posts, website comments, and emails towards the jury and witnesses during the trial. Lloyd also placed or had others place stickers in predominantly Jewish areas of Pittsburgh, directing people to the website containing his threats and antisemitic messages.
“Jury trials are a hallmark of the American justice system and attempts to intimidate witnesses or jurors will be met with a strong response,” said United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld. “The use of hateful threats in an effort to undermine a trial is especially troubling.”
“The safety and security of all citizens in our communities is a priority for the FBI,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “Threats of violence used to intimidate or influence a community or jury cannot and will not be tolerated. The FBI makes it a priority to investigate crimes based on religious bias. In this case, the Jewish community was specifically targeted by these threats. I want to thank the community for sharing information that helped lead to today’s arrest.”
Lloyd is charged with obstruction of the due administration of justice, transmitting threats in interstate and foreign commerce, and witness tampering. He faces up to 10 years in prison for the obstruction charge, up to five years for the threats charge, and up to 20 in prison for the tampering charge. If convicted, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph Bernard and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod Douglas are prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.