An alleged double murderer has been charged in Alaska for allegedly threatening a Florida sheriff with “lasers that could blind you for life” after holding a press conference denouncing anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi messages, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
A federal grand jury indicted Joshua Wahl, 31, for allegedly threatening Michael Chitwood, the sheriff of Volusia County, Florida. He is charged with cyberstalking and four counts of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, the Justice Department said.
Wahl is already indicted on unrelated charges in a double murder in Alaska, according to the Volusia Sheriff’s Office.
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“Not every loser who threatens violence on the Internet gets caught, but I’m glad one more gets a dose of reality,” Chitwood said in a statement Tuesday. “I’m far from alone in receiving death threats, and my family isn’t the only one being targeted and harassed. But I will always be proud to stand up to hateful idiots and defend the community that I love.”
Wahl’s alleged threats began in March when the sheriff held a press conference to discuss the distribution of anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi leaflets. The first threat sent to Chitwood was via email on March 31, federal prosecutors said.
In the email, Wahl allegedly wrote that he was armed with lasers and explosives. The message included links to videos showing someone using a laser to blow a hole in a photograph of Chitwood’s face and holding explosives in front of another photograph of Chitwood, authorities said.
“I just wanted to thank you. Your toothless threats to arrest me over the past three weeks have woken me up from my depressed state,” Wahl allegedly wrote in the email, Fox Orlando reported. “Did you know that a laser like that can get hotter than the sun very quickly? You inspired me to continue my work. So now (I’m) sitting here, armed to the teeth with binary explosives , 37mm launchers, lasers that blind for life in 1/15th of a second and (anti-level) 4 tungsten tipped munitions with binary trigger weapons, and all this (because of) your toothless threats towards me these last 3 weeks. (Thank you) for reigniting my passions.”
On the online forum “4Chan,” Wahl allegedly posted online messages in April containing direct threats against the Chitwoods.
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“Until you have the balls to stop me (in real life), I will still be here,” he reportedly wrote. “Kill S***wood in real life, shoot him in the fucking head with a 10mm surge bullet,” Wahl wrote, according to the indictment.
“Come do something, guys,” he continued.
Wahl faces up to five years in prison on each count related to the threats against Chitwood, the DOJ said.