Texas Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Online Threats Against Georgia Officials

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In a court decision, a Texas man, Chad Christopher Stark, 55, of Leander, was sentenced to two years in prison for posting a threatening message online directed at several Georgia public officials following the 2020 election.

According to court documents, on or about January 5, 2021, Stark posted a message on Craigslist titled, “Georgia Patriots it’s time to kill [Official A] the Chinese agent – $10,000.” The message contained explicit threats against various officials, invoking the Second Amendment and urging violence to reclaim the state.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland emphasized the dangers of threats against election administrators, stating, “Threats of violence against those who administer our elections are dangerous for people’s personal safety, and they are dangerous for our democracy.” Garland warned that such illegal threats would be met with the full force of the Justice Department.

FBI Director Christopher Wray underscored the severity of Stark’s actions, noting that the threats were aimed at preventing election workers from carrying out their duties. The FBI’s commitment to safeguarding American elections from any attempts to undermine their integrity was highlighted through Stark’s sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia emphasized the gravity of intimidating those responsible for overseeing elections, stating, “The conviction and sentencing of this defendant should send a clear message: the intimidation of those sworn to oversee and facilitate free and fair elections in this country is a serious offense that carries significant criminal penalties.”

Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley of the FBI Atlanta Field Office emphasized that sending death threats and encouraging others to act is a crime, not protected speech. The sentencing of Stark serves as a warning that those attempting to undermine American democracy will be held criminally accountable.

The FBI Atlanta Field Office conducted the investigation leading to Stark’s sentencing.