Massachusetts man facing charges for bomb threat against Arizona election official

A Massachusetts man faces up to 20 years in prison for a bomb threat he made to an elected official in the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.

James Clark, a 38-year-old Falmouth resident, has been charged with one count of making a bomb threat, one count of perpetrating a bomb hoax, and one count of communicating an interstate threat, according to the United States Department of Justice.

On or around February 14, 2021, Clark sent a threatening message via the Arizona Secretary of State’s website using the contact form of the Elections Division. Arizona’s Secretary of State is Katie Hobbs.

“Your attorney general needs to resign by Tuesday February 16th by 9 am or the explosive device impacted in her personal space will be detonated,” the message read.

The indictment alleges Clark used a web browser to search for Hobbs’s address and searched for “how to kill” the election official. Additionally, the indictment says that Clark allegedly used a web browser to search for “fema boston marathon bombing” and “fema boston marathon bombing plan digital army.”

If convicted, Clark faces “a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison for making the bomb threat and up to five years in prison for each of the counts on the bomb hoax and making a threatening interstate communication,” according to the press release.

“Illegal threats of violence put election officials and workers at risk and undermine the bedrock of our democracy: free and fair elections,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in the press release. “Our Election Threats Task Force, working with partners across the nation, will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute illegal threats like these to hold accountable those who threaten our democracy.”

FBI Phoenix is investigating the case with the help of FBI Lakeville (Massachusetts).

The Department of Justice urges people to report suspected threats and violent acts like this to their local FBI office’s Election Crimes Coordinator.

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