The feds say the man threatened to kill a black worker who wouldn’t give him a Social Security card


A man is accused of threatening to kill a black employee at a Social Security office in Washington because of his race, federal prosecutors said.

Now Stephen L. Ferris, 41, of Thurston County Accused of a hate crimeAccording to the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.

Prosecutors said Ferris went with a friend on February 16 to get a replacement Social Security card from the Social Security office in Olympia. There, the employee informed him of the correct documents he needed to obtain a new card, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Ferris returned to the office later that day with documents, and became angry with the clerk when he told Ferris the paperwork was not enough to replace the Social Security card.

He is accused of hurling racial slurs at the worker and threatening to “assault and kill him,” according to prosecutors and the superseding indictment.

On Oct. 16, Ferris appeared in federal court in Tacoma and was arraigned on charges of influencing a federal official by threatening and interfering with federally protected activities, the attorney’s office announced in a news release that day.

McClatchy News contacted the federal public defenders representing Veres for comment on October 17 and did not receive an immediate response.

According to the statement, the charge of influencing a federal official by threatening carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

If Ferris is convicted of that charge, he could also face a $250,000 fine, the statement said.

The charge of interference with federally protected activity carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, prosecutors said.

falls under Federal hate crimes law “Makes it a crime to use or threaten to use force to intentionally interfere with a person’s participation in federally protected activity because of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

Ferris is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 28 for a jury trial, court records show.

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