Middle Georgia Man Sentenced to 5 Years for Threatening Communications

Middle Georgia Man Sentenced to 5 Years for Threatening Communications
Travis Leroy Ball

Middle Georgia resident Travis Leroy Ball, 56, from Barnesville, Georgia, has been sentenced to the maximum 60 months in federal prison for mailing threatening communications. U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal handed down the sentence on June 12, along with three years of supervised release following imprisonment. Ball pleaded guilty to one count of mailing threatening communications earlier this year.

According to court documents and statements, Ball, who has a history of arson and sending death threats, sent various threatening letters. One such letter, received by the FBI on March 10, 2023, was addressed to U.S. District Court Judge Marc T. Treadwell, falsely claiming to be from a U.S. Secret Service agent. The letter demanded dismissal of charges against Ball and his release from federal custody.

Additionally, Ball sent letters in March and May 2023 to the U.S. District Court in Valdosta, Georgia, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. These letters threatened violence against employees and their families, as well as property destruction.

In July 2023, Ball wrote to the Upson County Sheriff’s Office, pretending to be an FBI agent involved in a classified case. The letter demanded the removal of Ball’s personal information from jail records.

The FBI compared the letters, handwriting, letterhead, postage stamps, verbiage and the “INMATE MAIL” stamp on each letter and determined that Ball wrote the letters while in custody. The defendant’s DNA was compared against the letters sent to the U.S. Courthouse in Valdosta and the letter impersonating a U.S. Secret Service Agent sent to U.S. District Chief Judge Treadwell. The results confirmed Ball’s DNA on both letters. Officers found the writing material and stamps in Ball’s cell.

U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary emphasized, “We will not tolerate threats of violence against public servants and other criminal intimidations that disturb peace and order.” Robert Gibbs of FBI Atlanta’s Macon office stated, “Threats against public servants are not only illegal but also a threat against our democratic process.”

The case was investigated by FBI with assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Services, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Upson County Sheriff’s Office.