Texas man sentenced 2 years in prison for threatening Georgia election workers after 2020 election

Fulton County Registrations and Elections building. (FOX 5)

A Texas man who was the first arrest by a Justice Department task force that investigates threats to election workers has been sentenced to two years in prison over posts made following the 2020 election, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Chad Christopher Stark, 55, was accused of posting threatening messages on Craigslist about killing government officials in Georgia. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of communicating interstate threats.

Prosecutors say Stark, who is from suburban Austin, urged Georgia residents on social media to "militia up" and called for shooting several unnamed officials and judges. The messages were posted on Jan. 5, 2021, the day before Congress was set to ratify the Electoral College’s votes.

"Christopher Stark threatened the lives of multiple election workers in an attempt to prevent them from doing their job," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. "Today’s sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s resolute commitment to securing American elections from any attempts to undermine their integrity."

A federal public defender for Stark did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Stark’s arrest was the first by the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force, which was launched in 2021 amid a rising tide of violent threats against people who count and secure the vote. The threats followed former President Donald Trump making repeated unproven claims that election fraud cost him the 2020 presidential election.