Man charged with threatening to kill Georgia election officials

Craigslist post leads to arrest of Texas man

The FBI arrested a Texas man Friday, alleging he threatened to shoot and kill Georgia election officials the day before the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

It’s the first criminal case brought by a new U.S. Justice Department task force aimed at cracking down on threats of violence against election workers.

Chad Stark, 54, of Leander, Texas, wrote on Craigslist 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,” the Justice Department said.

The Craigslist post called for “patriots” to “spill blood” and “send a very clear message to these corrupt governors.”

The names of three Georgia officials targeted by Stark were redacted from the indictment.

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

The day after Stark’s post, hundreds of supporters of Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress was counting electoral votes and confirming Joe Biden’s victory. Stark’s post doesn’t appear to be directly linked to the violence in Washington.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Friday condemned threats against election workers.

“These are the people who make our democracy work ... we need to support and protect our local election officials and volunteers now more than ever,” Raffensperger said in a statement.

Stark faces one count of communicating interstate threats, which comes with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.