ARIZONA NEWS

Alabama man accused of sending threatening messages to election workers in Maricopa County

Feb 29, 2024, 4:15 AM

An Alabama man was arrested Feb. 28, 2024, after being accused of sending threatening messages to e...

An Alabama man was arrested Feb. 28, 2024, after being accused of sending threatening messages to election workers in Maricopa County. (Maricopa County Elections Photo)

(Maricopa County Elections Photo)

PHOENIX — An Alabama man was arrested Wednesday after being accused of sending threatening messages to election workers in Maricopa County, authorities said.

Brian Jerry Ogstad, 59, of Cullman, faces five counts of communicating an interstate threat for allegedly sending the messages during the 2022 election, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ogstad is accused of starting to send messages on Aug. 2, 2022, to the Instagram account maintained by the Maricopa County Elections Department.

The messages continued for another two days, according to the release. Arizona held its primary election, including for governor, on Aug. 2.

“We cannot permit election skeptics to threaten vigilante justice,” Gary Restaino with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in the release.

“We will continue to prosecute true threats against Arizona’s election officials and other public servants, including direct messages sent on social media, or communications in any other format.”

What messages did the Alabama man allegedly send to Maricopa County?

Ogstad is accused of sending threatening messages and pushing false narratives regarding the election.

In one message sent Aug. 3, Ogstad allegedly said “You did it! Now you are [expletive]. Dead. You will all be executed for your crimes.”

The same day, Ogstad is accused of sending another message that read, “You are lying, cheating [expletive] . . . you better not come in my church, my business or send your kids to my school. You are [expletive] stupid if you think your lives are safe.”

Another message sent Aug. 4 by Ogstad said this:

[Y]ou people are so ducking [sic] stupid. Everyone knows you are lots [sic], cheats, frauds and in doing so in relation to elections have committed treason. You will all be executed. Bang [expletive]!

Ogstad made his initial appearance Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Huntsville, Alabama.

If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison per count.

The FBI Phoenix Field Office is investigating the case with help from the FBI Birmingham Field Office.

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Alabama man accused of sending threatening messages to election workers in Maricopa County