3 men from 3 different states plead guilty to threatening Arizona election officials

Published: Friday, September 1, 2023 - 8:06am
Updated: Friday, September 1, 2023 - 8:49am
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In the past month, three men have now pleaded guilty to federal charges of making threats toward Arizona election officials.

In mid-August a Massachusetts man entered his plea; earlier this week, an Iowa man also pleaded gulity.

U.S. Attorney Gary M. Restaino for the District of Arizona announced Thursday that an Ohio man pleaded gulity to sending threatening communications to an official in the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

“That’s Joshua Russell who made multiple threats including one on Arizona primary day on Aug. 2 last year. Mr. Russell pleaded guilty today to making that interstate threat," said Restaino.

Restaino said that of the 14 election threat-related cases the Department of Justice has charged, mor than a third involve Arizona.

“That’s three here. It’s two others with an Arizona nexus; threats against people, against the Maricopa County elections department,” Restaino said. “One charged out of the northern district of Texas and one out of the western district of Missouri.”

Restaino said they’re still trying to piece together why Arizona has been such a target.

“I don’t think we yet know but one thing to consider is Arizona has been in the news from an election context nearly continuously from Nov. 3, 2020, to present,” he said.

Restaino added that there are still "other cases in the pipeline," but did not specify further.

“Election officials are the first responders of democracy,” Restaino said in a press release. “We best vindicate the work of these public servants when we locate, investigate, and prosecute those who make threats against them.”

Politics ElectionsLaw Enforcement
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