Two men pleaded guilty to threatening elections officials in separate criminal cases, the Justice Department announced Thursday – the latest in a department effort to crack down on election threats nationwide.
Chad Christopher Stark of Texas pleaded guilty to making threats against public officials in Georgia following the 2020 election, while Joshua Russell of Ohio pleaded guilty to threatening an Arizona election worker during the 2022 midterm election season, the department said in separate news releases.
The cases are part of the DOJ’s Election Threats Task Force, which was launched in June 2021 to address the rise in threats against election officials across the country. The task force has charged 14 threat-related cases and secured nine convictions, according to the department.
Stark, 55, faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of sending a threat using a telecommunications device, according to the Justice Department.
Prosecutors said he posted a threatening message on Craigslist toward an unnamed election official on or around January 5, 2021, a day before supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress’ certification of the 2020 election.
The message, according to court documents, said in part: “It’s time to invoke our Second Amendment right it’s time to put a bullet in the treasonous Chinese [Official A]. Then we work our way do