Alaska double murder suspect targeted Florida sheriff with ‘lasers that could blind for life’: DOJ
A suspected double murderer has been indicted in Alaska for allegedly threatening a Florida sheriff with “lasers that could blind for life” after he held a news conference denouncing anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi messages, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
A federal grand jury indicted Joshua Wahl, 31, for allegedly threatening Michael Chitwood, the sheriff of Volusia County in Florida. He is charged with cyberstalking and four counts of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, the Justice Department said.
“Not every loser threatening violence on the Internet gets caught, but I’m glad one more is getting a dose of reality,” Chitwood said in a statement Tuesday. “I am far from the only one getting death threats, and my family is not the only one who’s been targeted and harassed. But I will always be proud to take on hateful idiots and stand up in defense of the community I love.”
Wahl’s alleged threats began in March when the sheriff held a news conference discussing the distribution of anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi flyers. The first threat sent to Chitwood was on March 31 via email, 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 burn a hole through 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 for the last 3 weeks have woken me from my funk,” Wahl allegedly wrote in the email, Fox Orlando reported. “Did you know that a laser like that can get hotter than the sun very fast? You have 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 a second and (anti-level) 4 tungsten tip ammo with weapons with binary triggers, and it’s all (because) of your toothless threats toward me the last 3 weeks. (Thank you) for re-igniting my passions.”
In the online forum “4Chan,” Wahl allegedly made online posts in April with direct threats to the Chitwood.
“Until you get the balls to arrest me (in real life) I’ll still be here,” he allegedly wrote. “Kill S***wood in real life, shoot him in the f****** head with an overpressure 10mm round,” Wahl wrote, according to the indictment.
“Come and do something about it fedboys,” he continued.
Wahl faces up to five years in prison on each count related to the threats against Chitwood, the DOJ said.