LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today indicted a Houston man on federal charges for allegedly making a series of phone calls to the Hawthorne office of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and threatening her with violence and death.
Brian Michael Gaherty, 60, was charged in the indictment with four counts of making threats in interstate communications and four counts of threatening a United States official.
Gaherty was arrested in this case on April 13 after prosecutors filed a criminal complaint that outlined the series of threats to Rep. Waters and alleged Gaherty had threatened other elected officials and a news reporter in Houston.
The indictment filed today alleges that Gaherty called the congresswoman’s office four times last year – twice on August 8, 2022, once on November 8, 2022, and once on November 10. Gaherty allegedly left four voicemails, each of which contained a threat to Rep. Waters.
For example, in one of the August 8 calls to Rep. Waters, Gaherty allegedly threatened, to “cut your throat.”
The four counts of threatening a United States official allege that Gaherty “knowingly threatened to assault and kill” Rep. Waters “with the intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with victim Congresswoman Waters” while she was engaged in the performance of her official duties, according to the indictment.
“Threats to harm and kill an elected official impact the intended victim, her entire staff and every constituent who is not receiving services because the elected official is dealing with the security threat,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “The entire Justice Department is dedicated to protecting American democracy, which includes combating threats that terrorize officials who have been elected to serve the public.”
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant committed a crime. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
After Gaherty was arrested at his residence in Houston, he made a court appearance and on April 17 was ordered released on $100,000 bond.
Gaherty is expected to appear for an arraignment in United States District Court in Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
Each count of making a threat to a United States official carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. The charge of making threats in interstate communications carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The United States Capitol Police and the FBI are investigating this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Laura A. Alexander of the General Crimes Section is prosecuting this case.