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Man accused of threatening to kill Obama won't get bail

A Medford man will remain jailed as a community danger and a flight risk while he faces federal charges for allegedly using two social-media outlets to threaten to kill President Barack Obama and FBI agents, despite his claims the threats were only idle.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke ordered John Martin Roos held without bail after agreeing with federal prosecutors Tuesday in U.S. District Court that Roos was not a qualified candidate for release, court records show.

In a court document, prosecutors pointed to the 61-year-old Roos' past use of aliases and other unverified information as evidence he might not appear at future court dates on his federal charge of communication of a threat in interstate commerce.

Prosecutors also pointed to the nature of the allegations and the discovery of an AK-47 and homemade pipe bombs in his Poplar Drive apartment as evidence of a safety threat to the community, according to court documents.

Clarke ordered Roos back to the Jackson County Jail and set a May 11 arraignment date. Federal public defender Brian Butler was appointed to represent Roos in the case.

Roos used his Twitter and Facebook accounts to state he planned to shoot Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, and he suggested their two daughters also should be shot first in a war against Muslims, according to an FBI affidavit in the case.

When interviewed by FBI and Secret Service agents March 25, Roos acknowledged writing the posts out of his anger with agents shooting militant LaVoy Finicum during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year, according to the affidavit.

Roos' posts on Twitter included, "Enough Patriots murders by the Obama admin. Enough Patriots and I am going to assassinate Obama," and "... An assassins bullet would stop all traitorous Obama bullshit, shoot him now," the affidavit states.

In the interview with federal agents, Roos said he never intended to harm anyone, but added that he would "punch Obama in the nose," because Obama "pisses him off," the affidavit states.

Roos, a U.S. military veteran who was born on the Fourth of July, was arrested Thursday at the Veterans Affairs' Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center in White City after an FBI search of his apartment yielded four illegal pipe bombs, an AK-47 and a loaded pistol, the affidavit states.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

John Roos