Texas man pleads guilty to threatening Georgia officials after 2020 election

A Texas man has pleaded guilty to making online threats against several Georgia public officials in the wake of the 2020 election.

Chad Christopher Stark, a 55-year-old resident of Leander, Texas, admitted his guilt in the Northern District of Georgia. Stark was charged with posting a menacing message on Craigslist on or around Jan. 5, 2021. The message, titled "Georgia Patriots it’s time to kill [Official A] the Chinese agent - $10,000," contained explicit threats against public officials.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division expressed concern over the threats, stating, "This case marks another destructive example of threats of violence to the election community and law enforcement." She emphasized that the Department will not tolerate criminal targeting of individuals responsible for administering elections.

U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia also condemned Stark's actions, highlighting the importance of protecting election workers. Buchanan stated, "His egregious conduct placed our democracy in jeopardy, striking at the heart of the process we assume to be insulated from such attacks."

Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division emphasized the seriousness of threats against election officials, stating, "We must take calls to violence seriously, whatever their form, especially when they have the potential to result in physical harm and undermine the integrity of U.S. elections."


Stark has pleaded guilty to one count of sending a threat using a telecommunications device and faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison. A sentencing date has yet to be determined.

The FBI Atlanta Field Office is leading the investigation into this case, which is part of the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force. Announced in June 2021, the task force aims to address threats of violence against election workers and ensure their safety. It collaborates with state and local law enforcement agencies to assess allegations and reports of threats against election workers, investigating and prosecuting cases when necessary.

The Election Threats Task Force is led by the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and includes various entities within the Department of Justice, such as the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division, the Civil Rights Division, the National Security Division, and the FBI. It also partners with other government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

To report suspected threats or violent acts, citizens are encouraged to contact their local FBI office and request to speak with the Election Crimes Coordinator. Contact information for every FBI field office can be found on the FBI website. Concerned individuals can also contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or submit an online complaint. If someone is in imminent danger or at risk of harm, they should call 911 or their local police immediately.