Denton County Man Sentenced for Threatening Jewish Organization
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas
SHERMAN, Texas – A Denton man has been sentenced to federal prison for violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
Anthony Joseph Hammer, 34, pleaded guilty on May 3, 2022, to interstate communication of a threat and was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell.
According to information presented in court, on July 28, 2021, Hammer sent a threatening electronic message to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish civil rights organization based in New York, via the ADL’s website’s contact page. In his message, Hammer stated the following: “Come and find me. Come after me. Come hunt me down. This is me. This is really me. All of my info. I will kill all of you Zionist pigs. 4th reich soon.”
“Threatening to harm others by using phones, computers or mail is a federal crime and taken very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “Hammer believed he could promote his malicious agenda by making threats to kill and to disrupt business activity. That’s why he is going to jail and being punished. Others who do the same will have the same fate.”
“The FBI is tasked with upholding the Constitution to include the right to Free Speech as outlined in the First Amendment. In this case, the direct threats made by the defendant, fell outside of that protected right,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarborough. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners take all threats seriously and will hold accountable anyone who seeks to intimidate and cause fear simply because they disagree with the views of their fellow citizens.”
An investigation by federal agents revealed that Hammer was already under investigation for threatening calls he made to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s office. Hammer made seven calls to Governor Wolf's office requesting to speak to the Governor. When staff members refused to put him through to the Governor, Hammer repeatedly threatened to kill Wolf and his staff members. This conduct was taken into consideration in calculating Hammer’s appropriate sentence in the Eastern District of Texas.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Pennsylvania Capitol Police and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Locker in the Eastern District of Texas in coordination with Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Marchioli in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Updated April 11, 2023