DOJ Task Force On Election Worker Threats Makes First Arrest

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 05: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is reflected in a technician's monitor as he speaks at the Department of Justice on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. Garland addressed the January ... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 05: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is reflected in a technician's monitor as he speaks at the Department of Justice on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. Garland addressed the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS

The Justice Department charged a man from Texas on Friday with threatening three government officials, the first criminal case brought forward by the department’s task force on combating violent threats against election workers.

According to the Justice Department’s announcement, 54-year-old Chad Christopher Stark of Leander, Texas was arrested by the FBI on Friday and charged with one count of making interstate threats.

Prosecutors alleged in a 4-page indictment that Stark posted an ad on Craigslist on Jan. 5 last year offering $10,000 for the deaths of the three officials, who were not named in the indictment.

The title of the alleged ad declared that it was “time to kill” one of the officials.

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“Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors. It’s time to invoke our Second Amendment right it’s time to put a bullet in the treasonous Chinese [Official A]. Then we work our way down to [Official B] the local and federal corrupt judges,” Stark allegedly wrote.

“One good loyal Patriot deer hunter in camo and a rifle can send a very clear message to these corrupt governors.. milita up Georgia it’s time to spill blood….  we need to pay a visit to [Official C] and her family as well and put a bullet her behind the ears,” the post allegedly continued.

He also, according to the indictment, claimed that “it’s our duty as American Patriots to put an end to the lives of these traitors and take back our country by force we can no longer wait on the corrupt law enforcement in the corrupt courts,” and that “[i]f we want our country back we have to exterminate these people.”

The alleged post then included a rant about Black Lives Matter and antifa, according to the indictment.

None of the three officials targeted by Stark’s alleged post were identified in the DOJ’s filing.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is prosecuting Stark’s case.

“The intimidation of those in charge of carrying out free and fair elections in this country is against the law and cannot go unchecked,” U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine said in a statement. “When someone threatens an election official working at any level of the voting process – whether that be an elected office holder or a volunteer poll worker – our democracy is put in jeopardy.”

The arrest comes seven months after Attorney General Merrick Garland created the Election Threats Task Force in response to the wave of threats against election workers sparked by ex-President Donald Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election.

Georgia was one of Trump’s main targets in his crusade to steal the election, and that effort included demanding that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger “find” the votes to undo Biden’s win in the state. When Raffensperger refused to do so, Trump repeatedly raked the official across the coals and doubled down when Raffensperger started getting death threats.

Read the indictment below:

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