Delta Junction man pleads guilty to threatening Alaska’s US senators

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 4:42 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A Delta Junction man had pleaded guilty to threatening Alaska’s two U.S. Senators, leaving them profane voice messages at their Washington, D.C. offices and threatening to have Sen. Lisa Murkowski killed.

Jay Allen Johnson, 65, was accused of making the threats back in October. Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan were not named in charging documents, but their respective offices confirmed they were the senators who were threatened. Johnson has pleaded guilty to two counts of threatening to murder a U.S. official, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Alaska said in a press release Tuesday.

Johnson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for each of the two charges, as well as forfeiting seven firearms that were found when the FBI searched his home in Delta Junction. As part of a plea agreement, Johnson will face a three-year federal protective order following his release from prison.

Johnson was arrested and charged in October after leaving 17 voice messages for the two senators — four for Murkowski and 13 for Sullivan over a period of several months. In his messages to Murkowski, Johnson said he would find out where she was and use his “veteran skills.” He asked Murkowski whether she knew what a .50 caliber shell “does to a ... human head,” according to the affidavit.

“Threatening public officials in an attempt to interfere with the performance of their duties is antithetical to our democratic system of governance,” said U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr. of the District of Alaska in Tuesday’s press release. “To protect the functions of our government institutions and our public officials themselves, the Department of Justice will work to ensure our elected officials can serve without fear of harm.”

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