Florida Man Arrested for Racially Motivated Threats Against Prospective Candidate for Local Office
A federal grand jury in the Western District of Virginia returned a sealed indictment on September 11 charging a Florida man with making racially motivated threats against a prospective candidate for a local city council position in Charlottesville, Virginia. The incident was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) field office in Tampa, Florida.
Daniel McMahon of Brandon, Florida was charged with four counts: willful interference with a candidate for elective office, bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office, threats to injure in interstate commerce, and cyberstalking.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) release, McMahon threatened the prospective candidate (D.G.) with physical harm because of D.G.’s race and because D.G. was campaigning for elected office. The indictment alleges that the threats were made “with the intent to injure and intimidate D.G., and were part of a course of conduct that caused D.G. to fear death and serious bodily injury.”
McMahon used his social media accounts to issue the threats and intimidating statements.
“Although the First Amendment protects an individual’s right to broadcast hateful views online, it does not give license to threats of violence or bodily harm. We will continue to prioritize cyber-threat cases, including those giving rise to civil rights violations,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen.
McMahon faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for cyberstalking and transmitting threats in interstate commerce. The charges for the threats against D.G. because of his race and state as an individual campaigning for elected office each carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison.
The alleged targeted and racially motivated actions by Daniel McMahon were an attempt to disrupt the American political process,” said David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division. “The FBI remains committed to protecting the civil liberties of all Americans. We are grateful for the assistance of the FBI office in Tampa and the partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office during this investigation.”
Takedown Update: In April, FEDagent reported on several members of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) who were arrested for improper treatment toward inmates and failing to prevent such treatment. This week, another former ADOC official was indicted for allowing inmate abuse. A federal grand jury sitting in Montgomery, Alabama, returned a two-count indictment charging former ADOC Lieutenant Willie Burks with failing to stop a sergeant under his command from kicking and striking with a baton a handcuffed and compliant inmate at ADOC’s Elmore Correctional Facility. Burks also was charged with making false statements to the federal grand jury in connection with the investigation.
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