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Press Release

Man Arrested for Making Threat to Arizona Election Official

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – February 22, 2024

SAN DIEGO – William Hyde of San Diego was arrested in San Diego today for allegedly leaving a voicemail containing a violent threat on the personal cell phone of an election official in the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona.

Hyde, 52, is scheduled to make his initial appearance tomorrow at the federal courthouse in San Diego.

According to an indictment unsealed today, on or about November 29, 2022, Hyde allegedly left the following voicemail message on the personal cell phone of the victim election official: “Run, [expletive].”  Approximately one minute later, Hyde allegedly left a second voicemail message for the same election official: “You wanna cheat our elections? You wanna screw Americans out of true votes? We’re coming, [expletive]. You’d better [expletive] hide.” This followed a Special Meeting held by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors a day earlier to certify the election results in Maricopa County for the November 8, 2022, general elections for federal and state officeholders.  The election official was present at this Special Meeting, which received nationwide media coverage.

“Intimidation of election officials strikes at the very heart of our democracy,” said United States Attorney for the Southern District of California Tara McGrath. “Even just one case can have a ripple effect. This Office will aggressively prosecute any attempt to intimidate, threaten, or frighten election officials as they engage in these critical duties.”

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendant left threatening messages on a Maricopa County election official’s personal cell phone the day after county officials certified the 2022 election results. The indictment alleges that the defendant accused the official of cheating the election and told the official to ‘run’ and ‘hide,’” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Criminal Division is committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting individuals who threaten election officials. We will not tolerate criminal intimidation of those who administer and safeguard our elections.”

“Election integrity starts with protecting those we entrust to administer elections,” said U.S. Attorney Gary M. Restaino for the District of Arizona. “We appreciate the admirable efforts of the Recorder’s Office and Elections Department in Maricopa County to efficiently register Arizonans as eligible voters, and to accurately and transparently tabulate their votes.”

“Individuals who work to ensure the integrity of our elections should not have to worry about their safety while working for the American people,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge TJ Holland of the FBI San Diego Field Office. “We will continue to collaborate with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to protect election officials and prosecute anyone who threatens to harm them.”

Hyde is charged with one count of communicating an interstate threat. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.  The FBI San Diego Field Office investigated the case, with substantial assistance from the FBI Phoenix Field Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Askins for the Southern District of California and Trial Attorney Tanya Senanayake of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case, with substantial assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Sue Feldmeier for the District of Arizona.

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 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. A year after its formation, the task force is continuing this work and supporting the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI Field Offices nationwide as they carry on the critical work that the task force has begun.

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 Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, Civil Rights Division, National Security Division, and FBI, as well as key interagency partners, such as the Department of Homeland Security and 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 You may also contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or file an online complaint at 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.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 22cr0276-BAS                                       

William Michael Hyde                                   52                    San Diego


Interstate Threatening Communication – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 875(c)

Maximum penalty:  Five years in prison and $250,000 fine


Federal Bureau of Investigation


Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or 

Updated February 22, 2024

Press Release Number: CAS23-0222-Hyde