Alaska Man Sentenced to Prison for Threatening to Assault Federal Officials
Fairbanks, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that a Wiseman, Alaska, man was sentenced in federal court for threatening to assault federal officials.
Jay Rolf Armstrong, 52, of Wiseman, Alaska, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline, to serve two years in federal prison, followed by one year of supervised release. Armstrong was also ordered to pay a fine of $2,000. Armstrong pleaded guilty on Aug. 18, 2017, to two counts of threatening to assault federal officials.
According to court documents, Armstrong had made numerous complaints to BLM officials and others over a period of several months, beginning in January 2016, about BLM’s decisions regarding Armstrong’s mining activities on public lands. On Jan. 9, 2017, in Washington, D.C., Armstrong spoke to a BLM official and expressed his anger at being denied mining permits. Two days later, Armstrong made two phone calls to government officials, and threatened to kill BLM employees in Alaska.
In the first call, Armstrong said: “We should just go out and kill these sons of bitches. Honestly, I have half a mind to walk down there and mess them up right now.” In his second call that day, Armstrong telephoned a BLM official in Fairbanks, and stated: “Don't think for a second that if we don’t get this resolved that I won't pick up arms. I will pick up arms, and I will kill you guys. That's not a threat.”
When at his residence in Wiseman, Alaska, Armstrong could be heard firing his weapons, including a .50 caliber rifle and semi-automatic firearms. A search of Armstrong’s residence and property revealed a variety of firearms including rifles, shotguns, revolvers, rifle scopes, thousands of rounds of ammunition, ammunition magazines, firearm parts, gunpowder, shell casings, primers, bayonets and a large gun safe containing two .50 caliber rifles, additional firearms and ammunition.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case.