ARIZONA NEWS

Man gets over 3 years for making a bomb threat against an Arizona election official

Mar 13, 2024, 7:10 AM

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James Clark was sentenced on March 12, 2024, to over three years in prison for threatening an Arizona election officials with a bomb. (AP File Photo)

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX — A man was sentenced on Tuesday to 3½ years in prison for making a bomb threat against an Arizona election official, authorities said.

James W. Clark of Massachusetts, 40, pleaded guilty in August 2023 to one count of making a threatening interstate communication, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

“Those using illegal threats of violence to intimidate election workers should know that the Justice Department will find you and hold you accountable under the law,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a press release.

“The defendant in this case will spend the next three years and six months in federal prison for threatening an Arizona election official. We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute such unlawful threats of violence.”

Here’s what the man did and how he was busted

On Feb. 14, 2021, Clark sent a message to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, addressing an election official by her first name.

The press release didn’t mention the name of the official. Current Gov. Katie Hobbs was Arizona’s secretary of state at the time of the threat.

The message said that if the official didn’t resign by Feb. 16, an explosive device within her personal space would be detonated, prosecutors said.

After sending those messages, the man researched online the election official’s full name, along with inquiries into “address” and “how to kill.” Prosecutors further noted that he researched the Boston Marathon bombing on around the time he sent the threatening message.

“James W. Clark sent a bomb threat to an Arizona election official. As a result, law enforcement searched the office building where the official worked, as well as the official’s home and car, for an explosive device,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri said in the release.

“Public servants who ensure our free and fair elections must be able to do their jobs without fear.”

The FBI Phoenix Field Office investigated the case.

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Man gets over 3 years for making a bomb threat against an Arizona election official