Baptist pastor among recipients of suspect's threatening letters, authorities say

A California man arrested in Tulsa, Okla., this month is accused of mailing more than 40 threatening letters across the country to a list of recipients that includes a Baptist pastor in Dallas, according to a report.

The suspect, identified as Darnell Ray Owens, 32, of Sacramento, faces a seven-count indictment that was handed down Thursday by a federal grand jury, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Owens was awaiting extradition to California to face the charges, the report said.

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“I will assassinate your pastor in the name of Allah,” Owens wrote in a letter to the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, according to federal authorities. The congregation is led by Dr. Robert Jeffress, a Fox News contributor.

“I will burn down Christian churches … this is a threat,” the letter to the Dallas church continued. The letter also contained a white powder that was found not to be harmful, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans told the newspaper.

Another letter was mailed to an elected official in Sacramento, the Sacramento Bee reported.

“I knew you was going to not charge those corrupt racist cops,” the letter said, according to the Bee. “You have failed this city and the people. So I am making a threat on your life, I will assassinate you with a bullet to your head, you will not survive I will watch your body shake as the life in you leaves.”

The letter appeared to refer to the case of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old black man who was killed by police in California’s capital city in March 2018.

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In other letters, Owens threatened LGBTQ groups and individuals, police departments, apartment complexes, white people, Christians – and even members of his own family, the Morning News reported.

The charges that Owens faces include identity theft because the letters had phony return addresses, the report said. Other charges include threat or hoax involving a biological weapon, the Morning News reported.