Last year, a Texas man who made threats against Maricopa County Registrar Stephen Richer and his family was sentenced to more than three years in prison, followed by three years’ probation.
Frederick Francis Goltz, 52, of Lubbock, pleaded guilty to interstate threatening communications earlier this year. Goltz was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendricks, who ordered him to be released under supervision after serving three years in prison.
Intimidation of US election officials surged after former President Donald Trump falsely claimed the 2020 election was stolen from him. Such intimidation resulted in a nationwide outflow of election officials and made it difficult to recruit poll workers.
Republican Donald Trump was indicted earlier this week on felony charges for working to overturn the 2020 election results ahead of a violent Capitol riot by his supporters.
Prosecutors said court documents showed Goltz threatened several people on far-right social media platforms, including a lawyer with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and a Maricopa County elections official.
Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, was targeted by Trump supporters after Democratic President Joe Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes, putting Maricopa County on top. But even a Republican-backed election investigation in the county failed to produce evidence to support President Trump’s false claim that the election was stolen.
As part of the plea deal, Goltz posted the lawyer’s name, home address and phone number on social media on November 21, 2022, writing, “I’m sorry if anyone touches these children.” admitted that On the same day, in response to another post mentioning other Maricopa County officials, he wrote: Children are the most important message to send. “
Two days later, Golz responded to a post about election officials, prosecutors said, according to court records. I don’t think he has children, but I’m not 100% sure.” When another user said children should be “off limits,” Goltz said, “No. There is nothing prohibited,” he replied.
Prosecutors said an FBI investigation found Mr. Goltz had a long history of making threatening statements to various people. In November 2022, he alleged “mass shootings of poll workers and election officials” in districts where he believed the results were “questionable,” according to court records.