A Texas man who pleaded guilty to posting a message online threatening Georgia officials in the wake of the 2020 election was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison.
Chad Christopher Stark, of Leander, was charged last year in connection with a Craigslist ad posted on Jan. 5, 2021, that mentioned $10,000 and referred to killing Georgia election officials, the Justice Department said in a news release.
“Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors,” the message read in part, according to court documents. The ad referred to putting “an end to the lives” of three officials, who are not named in the indictment, and urged an effort to “take back our country by force.”
Stark pleaded guilty in August to one count of threatening use of a telecommunications device. He was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Georgia.
In a statement Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said threats of violence against election officials are “dangerous for our democracy.”
“This sentence should serve as warning — illegal threats against the public servants who make our democracy work will be met with the full force of the Justice Department,” Garland said.
An attorney for Stark did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Stark's two-year sentence was at the higher end of the 18-24 months’ imprisonment federal prosecutors recommended in court documents.
Threats to election workers have grown in recent years. Since the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump and his allies have promoted false election fraud claims, with elections officials targeted at times.
More recently, the FBI said this month it was investigating letters with suspicious powder addressed to election workers after officials in multiple states reported suspicious letters.