CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A former Richland County, N.D., school board member was arrested in Yellowstone National Park on Sept. 18 after allegedly threatening to shoot up to 20 people at an office in Boise, Idaho, unless his wife gave him information about a man he believed she had an “emotional affair” with.
Joshua James Mjoness, 44, of Christine, N.D., had not been seen since Sept. 17 after becoming distraught after learning of the affair, according to a sworn statement by National Park Service Special Agent Jacob Olson.
Mjoness told his wife he was checking into Sanford Behavioral Hospital in Fargo, according to court documents, but the next morning, Mjoness called his wife asking for a picture and more information about the man, who he believed worked at an office in Boise.
Early in the afternoon, Mjoness’ wife called Richland County emergency dispatchers about threatening messages she received from her husband. According to Olson’s statement, Mjoness texted his wife threatening to kill everyone in the Boise office if she didn’t provide more details within 24 hours.
Moments later, he sent a picture of a Ruger pistol sitting in his lap and a text saying “up to you,” according to the statement. Investigators determined the pistol was one Mjoness had purchased at a Fargo Scheels sporting goods store on Sept. 16.
Later, Mjoness called his wife’s phone and spoke with his brother-in-law, asking him to tell his wife to send a picture of the man and more information, according to the statement. The brother-in-law said Mjoness told him “either two people die or twenty die.”
The brother-in-law also told investigators later on that Mjoness’ behavior was out of character and that he seemed drunk or on drugs.
Around the same time of the call, the Richland County Sheriff's Office reached out to authorities in Yellowstone National Park after locating Mjoness in the park using his cellphone location data.
Soon afterward, a park ranger stopped Mjoness' vehicle and found a Ruger handgun, two loaded magazines and fifty 9 mm rounds of ammunition, according to the statement. The ranger found a receipt for the gun and ammunition, which were purchased at Scheels in Fargo. The ranger also found marijuana and open containers of alcohol, according to the statement.
Mjoness was taken into custody and is charged with transporting a firearm across state lines with the intent of committing a crime, making a threat to injure another person in another state and possessing a firearm as an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
The Federal Public Defender’s Office in Cheyenne, which is representing Mjoness, said it does not comment on cases. He's set to appear in court on Thursday.
Mjoness was a member of the Richland 44 School District board from 2017 to 2018 until he and two other incumbent board members were ousted in a special recall election held after allegations of sexual misconduct and hazing among male students at the high school.