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Texas man who threatened Arizona election official and kids sentenced to more than 3 years

Frederick Francis Goltz, 52, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison. He posted threats about officials in Maricopa County, which was a target of conspiracy theorists after the 2020 election.
A voter casts their ballot at a secure ballot drop box at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.
A voter casts their ballot at a secure ballot drop box at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, in 2022.Matt York / AP file

A Texas man who threatened an election official and a county official in Maricopa County, Arizona, and their children, was sentenced to more than three years in prison Thursday, federal prosecutors said.

Frederick Francis Goltz, 52, made the threats on two websites, and the social media platform media Gab, according to court records.

Under the name “FreeSpeechMaster,” he posted the name, an address, phone number and fax machine of a Maricopa County, Arizona, official on Nov. 21, according to his plea agreement.

“It would be a shame if someone got to this children,” Goltz wrote, with a typo. In other comments, he wrote “Someone needs to get these people AND their children. The children are the most important message to send.”

Maricopa County and election officials were targeted by conspiracy theorists and lies about the 2020 presidential election. Auditors in a Republican-backed effort famously looked for things like bamboo and secret watermarks.

The post that Goltz commented on was about the 2020 presidential election and ballots in the county, which is Arizona’s most populous.

On Gab, Goltz wrote “I’m willing to take lives” and wrote in part “their children are not off limits, either.”

The threats were made targeting an elections official and a lawyer with the county attorney's office, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas said. He also suggested a "mass shooting of poll workers," the prosecutor's office said.

A lawyer for Goltz did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday evening.

U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton said that "Election workers perform a duty sacred to the body politic," and called threats against them unconscionable.

"This particular defendant repeatedly advocated violence against not only these men, but against their children as well," she said in a statement. "The Justice Department will not stand by as bad actors threaten members of law enforcement or election officials.

Goltz pleaded guilty on April 26 to one count of interstate threatening communications.