Phoenix, AZ–A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned an indictment Wednesday charging an Ohio man for allegedly sending threatening communications to an election official with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.
According to court documents, on or about Aug. 2, Joshua Russell, 44, of Bucyrus, allegedly left the following voicemail for an election official with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office (Victim‑1): “This message is for traitor [Victim-1’s full name]. You’ve drug your feet, you’ve done nothing, to protect our election for 2020. You’re committing election fraud, you’re starting to do it again, from day one. You’re the enemy of the United States, you’re a traitor to this country, and you better put your sh[inaudible], your [expletive] affairs in order, ’cause your days [inaudible] are extremely numbered. America’s coming for you, and you will pay with your life, you communist [expletive] traitor [expletive].”
Additionally, according to the indictment, on or about Sept. 9, Russell allegedly left the following voicemail for Victim-1: “This message is for terrorist [Victim-1’s last name]. The only reason you’re still walking around on this planet is because we’re waiting for the midterms to see you prosecuted for the crimes you have done to our nation. You are a terrorist. You are a derelict criminal. And you have a few short months to see yourself behind bars, or we will see you to the grave. You are a traitor to this nation, and you will suffer the [expletive] consequences.”
On or about Nov. 15, Russell allegedly left the following voicemail for Victim-1: “This message is for communist, criminal, [Victim-1’s full name]. We will not endure your crimes on America another day. You’ve been busted, over and over again. We will not wait for you to be drugged through court. A war is coming for you. The entire nation is coming for you. And we will stop, at no end, until you are in the ground. You’re a traitor to this nation. You’re a [expletive] piece of [expletive] communist, and you just signed your own death warrant. Get your affairs in order, cause, your days are very short.”
Russell is charged with three counts of making a threatening interstate communication and three counts of making a threatening interstate telephone call. He was arrested and made his initial court appearance on Dec. 12.
If convicted, Russell faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each count of making a threatening interstate communication and two years in prison for each count of making a threatening interstate telephone call. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.