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 on Thursday, federal prosecutors said.
Frederick Francis Goltz, 52, made the threats on two websites, patriots.win and the social media platform media Gab, according to court documents.
Under the name “FreeSpeechMaster,” on Nov. 21, he posted the name, address, phone number, and fax machine of an officer in Maricopa County, Arizona, per his plea deal.
“It would be a shame if someone got to these kids,” Goltz wrote in a typo. In other comments, he wrote: “Someone needs to catch these people AND their kids. The children are the most important message to send.”
Maricopa County and election officials have been targeted by conspiracy theorists and lies about the 2020 presidential election. Auditors in a Republican-backed effort famously searched for things like bamboo and secret watermarks.
The post to which Goltz responded was about the 2020 presidential election and ballots in the county, Arizona’s most populous county.
Of Gab, Goltz wrote, “I’m willing to take lives” and wrote in part “their kids aren’t off limits either.”
The threats were directed at an election official and an attorney from 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 pollsters,” the prosecutor’s office said.
A Goltz lawyer 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 political body,” and called threats against them unconscionable.
“This particular defendant repeatedly advocated violence against not only these men, but also against their children,” she said in a statement. “The Justice Department will not stand by and watch bad actors threaten members of law enforcement or election officials.
Goltz pleaded guilty on April 26 to one count of threatening interstate communications.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com