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Delta Junction man sentenced for threatening Sens. Murkowski, Sullivan

A Delta Junction man has been sentenced to 32 months in prison for 17 threatening voicemails he left for U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 12:15 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Friday that 65-year-old Jay Allen Johnson, of Delta Junction, has been sentenced to 32 months in prison for 17 threatening voicemails he left for U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.

According to a press release from the department, Johnson pleaded guilty to two counts of threatening Murkowski and Sullivan in January and will additionally face a $5,000 fine and forfeit seven unsecured firearms discovered in a search of his residence when the FBI arrested him on Oct. 4, 2021.

In September 2021, Johnson left voicemails for Murkowski that included threats to burn her properties, a threat to hire an assassin, and included a question about what a .50 caliber shell “does to a human head.”

“Nothing excuses this conduct, threatening our elected officials, an act that attacks our very system of governance,” said U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr., of the District of Alaska, in the release. “The erosion of civility in our political discourse will never justify threats or acts of violence. Johnson’s actions must be punished, and the Department of Justice will always work to ensure our elected officials can serve without fear of harm.”

Between April and September of last year, Johnson left voicemails for Sullivan threatening to get his “.50 caliber out,” among other threatening terms used in the voicemails.

According to the release, the calls were made from Johnson’s cell phone in Delta Junction. Johnson was arrested after he drove from Delta Junction to Fairbanks International Airport. With his guilty plea, Johnson also is prohibited from contacting either senator, their families, or their staff as part of a three-year protective order.

“Those performing their official duties should be able to do so without fear for their safety,” said Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office in the release. “This case underscores the swift efforts by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and our law enforcement partners as we worked together to address these threats before any potential acts of violence occurred.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Tansey prosecuted the case.

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