In a troubling case, a Texas man, Chad Christopher Stark, has pleaded guilty to posting a threatening message online towards Georgia public officials after the 2020 election. The message, posted on Craigslist, called for violence against specific individuals involved in the election process, stating that it was time for “American Patriots” to use their Second Amendment rights and take action. This disturbing incident highlights the need to protect those who work tirelessly to ensure free and fair elections, and the Department of Justice is committed to holding those responsible accountable for their actions.
Man Pleads Guilty to Election-Related Threat Toward Georgia Public Officials
In a recent case that highlights the seriousness of threats against public officials involved in elections, a Texas man has pleaded guilty to posting a threatening message online toward several Georgia public officials. The case highlights the commitment of the Department of Justice to prosecuting individuals who target those responsible for administering elections and ensuring the right to vote. The guilty plea serves as a reminder that threats and acts of violence against election workers will not be tolerated.
The case revolves around a threatening message that Chad Christopher Stark, a 55-year-old man from Leander, Texas, posted on Craigslist. The message, titled “Georgia Patriots it’s time to kill [Official A] the Chinese agent – $10,000,” called for violence against Georgia public officials and judges. Stark’s message not only targeted specific individuals but also emphasized the need to take back the country by force. His words raised serious concerns about the safety and security of election workers and the electoral process as a whole.
The Threatening Message
Stark’s message on Craigslist contained explicit threats against Georgia public officials and judges. He called on fellow “patriots” to invoke their Second Amendment rights and use violence to eliminate what he perceived as traitors to the country. Stark’s words demonstrated a concerning disregard for the rule of law and the democratic process. The message highlighted the need for law enforcement to take such threats seriously to protect the integrity of elections and ensure the safety of those involved in the electoral process.
Following the posting of his threatening message, Stark was identified and apprehended by law enforcement officials. The case was taken up by the Northern District of Georgia, which is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in that region. The charges brought against Stark focused on the use of a telecommunications device to send a threat.
In a significant development, Chad Christopher Stark pleaded guilty to the charge of sending a threat using a telecommunications device. By pleading guilty, Stark acknowledged his actions and accepted responsibility for the threatening message he posted. His plea serves as a recognition of the seriousness of his offense and its potential consequences.
Stark now faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison for his actions. However, the final sentence will be determined by a federal district court judge, who will take into consideration the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other relevant factors. The potential penalty sends a strong message that threats against election officials will not be taken lightly and that individuals who engage in such behavior will face legal consequences.
Investigation and Prosecution
The investigation and prosecution of Chad Christopher Stark’s case were carried out by the FBI Atlanta Field Office. The agency’s involvement highlights the significance of the threat and the potential danger it posed to the safety and well-being of public officials. The coordinated efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies underscored the commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting those responsible for administering elections.
Task Force on Election Threats
This case is part of the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force, which was launched in June 2021. The task force was established to address and combat threats of violence against election workers. It aims to ensure that all election workers, whether elected, appointed, or volunteer, can carry out their duties without fear of intimidation or retaliation. The task force works closely with the election community, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other relevant entities to assess and respond to reports of threats against election workers.
Contact Information for Reporting Threats
If you believe you have witnessed or received threats related to elections, it is essential to report them promptly. You can contact your local FBI office and request to speak with the Election Crimes Coordinator. Additionally, you can submit complaints online through the FBI’s website or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324). All reports will be reviewed by the Election Threats Task Force and referred for investigation or response as necessary. If you believe there is imminent danger or risk of harm, contact 911 or your local police immediately.
The guilty plea in Chad Christopher Stark’s case serves as a clear message that threats of violence against election officials will not be tolerated. The Department of Justice, through its Election Threats Task Force, is committed to protecting those responsible for administering elections and ensuring the right to vote. The collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels are crucial in safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process and maintaining public trust in the democratic system. By reporting threats and supporting the work of the task force, individuals can contribute to the protection of our democracy and the safety of election workers.