Man Sentenced for Election-Related Threats Toward Georgia Public Officials
For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
A Texas man was sentenced today to two years in prison for posting a message online threatening several Georgia public officials following the 2020 election.
“Threats of violence against those who administer our elections are dangerous for people’s personal safety, and they are dangerous for our democracy,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “This sentence should serve as warning — illegal threats against the public servants who make our democracy work will be met with the full force of the Justice Department.”
According to court documents, on or about Jan. 5, 2021, Chad Christopher Stark, 55, of Leander, posted a message to Craigslist entitled, “Georgia Patriots it’s time to kill [Official A] the Chinese agent - $10,000.” The message stated the following:
“Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors. 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 down to [Official B] the local and federal corrupt judges. It’s our duty as American Patriots to put an end to the lives of these traitors and take back our country by force we can no longer wait on the corrupt law enforcement in the corrupt courts. If we want our country back we have to exterminate these people. One good loyal Patriot deer hunter in camo and a rifle can send a very clear message to these corrupt governors.. milita up Georgia it’s time to spill blood…. we need to pay a visit to [Official C] and her family as well and put a bullet her behind the ears. Let’s be very clear to our local law enforcement who have stood down and watch BLM antifa destroy our country and kill our citizens yet you’ll step up to stop Patriot supporters you’ll enforce face mask and you’ll close American businesses??? Remember one thing local law enforcement the key word being local….. we will find you oathbreakers and we’re going to pay your family to visit your mom your dad your brothers and sisters your children your wife… we’re going to make examples of traitors to our country… death to you and all you communist friends.”
“It’s simple: protecting America’s democracy means protecting the public servants and officials who ensure the electoral process is fair and free,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Christopher Stark threatened the lives of multiple election workers in an attempt to prevent them from doing their job. Today’s sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s resolute commitment to securing American elections from any attempts to undermine their integrity.”
“The conviction and sentencing of this defendant should send a clear message: the intimidation of those sworn to oversee and facilitate free and fair elections in this country is a serious offense that carries significant criminal penalties,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia. “Stark threatened Georgia statewide elected officials and a volunteer county election worker. Those threats were equally harmful, and his conduct put our democracy in jeopardy.”
“Sending death threats and urging others to act is not protected speech — it is a crime,” said Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley of the FBI Atlanta Field Office. “The sentencing of Stark is a warning to all that those who attempt to undermine American democracy will be held criminally accountable.”
The FBI Atlanta Field Office investigated the case.
Election Community Liaison Aaron Jennen and former Election Crimes Branch Director of Enforcement and Litigation Sean F. Mulryne of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Senior Litigation Counsel Brent A. Gray for the Northern District of Georgia prosecuted this case.
This case is part of the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force. Announced by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and launched by Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco in June 2021, the task force has led the department’s efforts to address threats of violence against election workers, and to ensure that all election workers — whether elected, appointed, or volunteer — are able to do their jobs free from threats and intimidation. The task force engages with the election community and state and local law enforcement to assess allegations and reports of threats against election workers, and has investigated and prosecuted these matters where appropriate, in partnership with FBI Field Offices and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country. The task force is continuing this work and supporting the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI Field Offices nationwide.
Under the leadership of Deputy Attorney General Monaco, the task force is led by the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and includes several other entities within the Justice Department, including the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division, the Civil Rights Division, the National Security Division, and the FBI, as well as key interagency partners, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. For more information regarding the Justice Department’s efforts to combat threats against election workers, read the Deputy Attorney General’s memo.
To report suspected threats or violent acts, contact your local FBI office and request to speak with the Election Crimes Coordinator. Contact information for every FBI field office may be found at www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/. You may also contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or file an online complaint at www.tips.fbi.gov. Complaints submitted will be reviewed by the task force and referred for investigation or response accordingly. If someone is in imminent danger or risk of harm, contact 911 or your local police immediately.
Updated November 29, 2023
Voting and Elections