LUBBOCK, Texas — An election official from Arizona who received death threats from a Lubbock County man said he’s grateful for the judicial system after Frederick Francis Goltz, 51, pleaded guilty to Interstate Threatening Communications.
Goltz was arrested by the FBI in December after he was caught making posts on right-wing websites threatening to injure political officials and their children. He accepted a plea agreement on April 21 with a federal magistrate recommending acceptance of the plea deal on April 26.
Federal court records stated that Goltz had a long history of making threats against “a variety of targets, including Canadian law enforcement officers, government officials, Jews, and others.”
In his plea agreement, Goltz admitted to writing, “Someone needs to get these people AND their children. The children are the most important message to send.”
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer (R) confirmed that he was on the receiving end of several threats. Richer said in a tweet that Goltz said he wanted to kill Richer’s children and “throw that Jew in an oven so badly, I can taste it.”
The Republican said threats are something he encounters regularly. Richer told EverythingLubbock.com this was “unfortunately, by no means the only one of these incidents.” Since 2021, Richer said he received countless emails that called him a traitor and threatened his life. That was the same year former President Donald Trump accused Maricopa County officials of election crimes. Richer called Trump’s statements at the time “unhinged.”
Richer said he felt his life and his family’s lives were in danger after an accumulation of threats over the past couple years and required security for extra protection on “multiple occasions.”
“An elections officer was not historically someone who garnered security attention,” Richer told EverythingLubbock.com. There has been an increase in elections administrators leaving their posts, Richer said, and threats such as those from Goltz are “certainly something that contributes to that.”
Richer called Goltz’s threats “reprehensible human conduct.” Richer said Goltz went down “rabbit holes” on the internet, made poor decisions and threatened statements that had a “chilling effect.”
“In my mind the truly heinous actors here are the people who know it’s all a lie … who for selfish reasons or electoral reasons continue to peddle this lie,” Richer told EverythingLubbock.com. The Republican said, “As long as President Trump remains in the political ecosystem, I think [threats] will continue to persist.”
Richer said he was thankful for law enforcement, the Department of Justice, FBI and the Northern District of Texas for making this case a priority.
Court documents stated that Goltz is a Canadian citizen who was in the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Goltz will be sentenced at a later date to no more than five years in federal prison. He will also face a term of supervised release of up to three years.
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