Retired Arkansas Highway Police officer sentenced to time served for weapons offense

John William Vickers, 55

A retired Arkansas Highway Police officer was sentenced to time served and three years of supervised release Friday morning by a federal judge in Texarkana.

John William Vickers, 55, of Prescott, Ark., appeared for sentencing on a charge of prohibited person in possession of a firearm with Texarkana attorney Craig Henry before U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas. Hickey sentenced Vickers, who has been in jail since October 2015, to time served and three years of supervised release.

Vickers was arrested Oct. 26, 2015, by Hempstead County authorities for terroristic threatening after posting threats of violence to specific members of area law enforcement and the U.S. President on Facebook. Agents who searched Vickers’ home the same day confiscated a 20 gauge shotgun, a pistol and variou types of ammunition, according to a federal complaint filed last year by Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Edwin Starr.

Vickers was prohibited from possessing firearms in an April 2015 protective order sought by a spouse or intimate partner in Ouachita County, Ark. The protective order’s firearm prohibition allowed federal officials to charge Vickers with the weapons charge.

The Facebook posts which led to Vickers’ arrest included: “poor babies will not have life much longer according to God. He said to kill everyone.” Vickers referred to someone in one post as “a dead man and I can damn sure make it happen!” and “BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!!” Vickers wrote of himself in the third person, and he went on to post, “planning on 37 of you dying very soon …God said ‘Yes, it’s his time to kill,’” and “between Hope and Texarkana will for 100% a fact be the very most dangerous place on Planet Earth,” the complaint states.

While on supervised release, Vickers is forbidden to possess a firearm. He must participate in substance abuse and/or mental health counseling as directed by federal probation authorities. If he violates any condition of his supervised release, Vickers could be ordered to serve more time behind bars.

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