Dillingham Man Indicted on Federal Cyberstalking, Threat Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A federal grand jury in Alaska returned an indictment charging a Dillingham man with cyberstalking and threatening a Florida County Sheriff.
According to court documents, Joshua Wahl, 31, allegedly threatened Michael Chitwood, the Sheriff of Volusia County, Florida. The threats started after Chitwood held a news conference denouncing individuals who distributed anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi messages. Investigators discovered an online persona linked to Wahl that posted anti-Semitic and anti-law enforcement content.
The defendant’s first alleged threat was sent to Chitwood on March 31, 2023, via email. In the email, the defendant stated he was armed with lasers and explosives and included links to videos showing someone using a laser to burn a hole through a photograph of Chitwood’s face and holding explosives in front of another photograph of Chitwood.
The threats continued with the defendant allegedly posting threats against Chitwood to the online platform known as “4chan” in April 2023. The posts included direct threats to kill or harm Chitwood.
Wahl is charged with one count cyberstalking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2261A(2), and four counts transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §875(c). The defendant will make his initial federal court appearance on a later date. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska; and Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI Anchorage Field Office is investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Beausang is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Public Affairs Officer
Updated September 26, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-070