Rocky Comfort man remains in federal custody

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Suspect threatened an FBI agent

A Rocky Comfort man has been charged in federal court with threatening to assault an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Richard W. Toler, 47, of Rocky Comfort, was charged in a criminal complaint filed under seal on Jan. 22. The complaint was unsealed and made public upon Toler’s arrest and initial court appearance on Jan. 24. Toler remained in federal custody pending a detention hearing held on Monday.

The federal criminal complaint alleges that Toler threatened to assault an FBI agent with the intent to impede, intimidate and interfere with the agent while he was engaged in the performance of his official duties, and retaliate against the agent on account of the performance of official duties.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Toler left more than 30 voicemail messages for the agent. In many of the voicemails, Toler yelled, cursed and accused the agent of ignoring his duties. The affidavit cites specific threats made by Toler against the agent and his family.

For example, the affidavit cites one voice mail in which Toler allegedly said, “I think you should look at your kids … I think you should give them a … hug … in case this is the last Christmas you get to spend with them.”

An employee of Central Bank of the Ozarks, which shares an office building with the FBI Springfield Resident Agency, arrived at work on Friday, Jan. 13, and found two pieces of paper on the floor inside two exterior doors of the bank. Both papers were addressed to the agent and were signed “Richard W Toler.” The content of the papers is not disclosed in the affidavit.

The Chicago, Ill., division of the FBI began an investigation on Nov. 14, 2017, related to a complaint of Toler making threatening communications by telephone. The investigation centered on allegations that Toler threatened to dismember and kill a Chicago woman (identified in court documents as “S.C.”) with whom Toler has a son. Toler also allegedly directed threats at a manager of the Whole Foods store where S.C. worked.

Area FBI agents interviewed Toler about the allegations on Dec. 5, 2017. The agents told Toler to cease contact with S.C. and others involved.

Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey Clark. It was investigated by the FBI and the Barry County Sheriff’s Office.

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