On Thursday, federal prosecutors sentenced a Texas man to more than three years in prison for threatening a Maricopa County, Arizona, election official, county employee, and their children.
Frederick Francis Golz, 52, made threats on two websites, patriots.win and social media platform Media Gab, according to court records.
Pursuant to a plea bargain, he posted the name, address, phone number, and fax of a Maricopa County, Arizona employee on Nov. 21 under the name “FreeSpeechMaster.”
“I’m sorry if anyone messes with these kids,” Golz wrote, including a typo. In another comment he writes: “Someone has to take over these people and their children. Children are the most important message to send.”
Maricopa County and election officials have been targeted with conspiracy theorists and lies about the 2020 presidential election. Auditors of the Republican-backed effort famously searched for things like bamboo and secret watermarks.
The post Goltz commented on was about the 2020 presidential election and voting in Arizona’s most populous county.
Golz wrote to Gab that he “wouldn’t mind taking his life” and in some that “their children are not off limits either”.
The threats targeted election officials and county attorneys, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. He also hinted at the “mass shooting of polling workers,” prosecutors said.
A lawyer for Mr. Goltz did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday night.
U.S. Attorney Rega Simonton said, “Election officials perform a sacred duty to politicians,” and said the threats against election officials were unconscionable.
“This particular defendant repeatedly alleges violence not only against these men, but also against their children,” she said. said in a statement. “The Justice Department will not sit back and let the bad guys intimidate law enforcement and election officials.
Goltz pleaded guilty to one count of interstate threatening communications on April 26.