Man who threatened to start World War III if kids were taken sentenced to prison

A former Delta County resident who threatened to start World War III if his children were removed from his custody last year will spend five years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

Jason Arnold, 32, formerly of Garden, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids today. He was convicted in March.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Arnold has an extensive adult criminal history that includes violent offenses. He was involuntarily hospitalized twice last year after suicide attempts. On one of those occasions, federal officials say Arnold threatened to start World War III if Child Protective Services removed his children from his house. Police temporarily detained him while CPS staff removed the children. Arnold tried to commit suicide in a police vehicle while he was being detained.

In early April 2013, Arnold bought a .30-06 rifle and attached a scope to it. The Michigan State Police learned that Arnold might have the rifle and questioned him about it. Arnold admitted that he had it and troopers arrested him. When they searched his house, they found the rifle with one round in the chamber, a fully loaded magazine attached and the scope mounted on it. Police also found additional ammunition.

Federal officials say Arnold told police that he bought the rifle to kill himself, which didn’t explain the need for a high-powered rifle, a scope and all of the ammunition. Judge Robert Bell told Arnold he was being sent to prison because he was preparing to harm others.