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Press Release

Maine Man Arrested for Racially-Motivated Death Threats Against Black Neighbor

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Maine man was arrested today on federal charges for sending a threatening voicemail to a neighbor.

According to the indictment, Charles Allen Barnes, 47, of Lewiston, allegedly used an interstate communications service to transmit a voice message in which he used racial slurs and stated that he was outside a neighbor’s residence and would kill any Black person who emerged. Barnes also allegedly chose the neighbor as the object of the offense because of the neighbor’s race.

Barnes is charged with one count of violating the federal interstate threats statute. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee for the District of Maine and Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Boston Division made the announcement.

The FBI Boston Division investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheila W. Sawyer for the District of Maine and Trial Attorney Alec Ward of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.  

For more information and resources on the department’s efforts to combat hate crimes, visit

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated October 12, 2023

Civil Rights
Hate Crimes
Press Release Number: 23-993