Man pleads guilty to threatening Alaska senators

Federal justice officials say a Delta Junction man has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to two counts of threatening to murder Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska.

According to court documents released in Fairbanks on Tuesday, Jan. 4, Jay Allen Johnson, 65, left a voicemail message on Sept. 2, 2021, at Murkowski’s office in Washington, D.C., containing several threats, including one to “burn” the senator’s properties. The call was traced to a cell phone in Delta Junction linked to Johnson.

On Sept. 29, 2021, Johnson left a voicemail threatening to hire an assassin to kill the senator.

Johnson also left threatening voicemail messages for Sullivan between April and September of last year, including one in which he threatened to get his “.50 caliber out,” hold a “GoFundMe page for the … shells,” and to come “with a vengeance m—–f—–.”

In total, Johnson admitted to leaving 17 threatening voicemails for the two senators over a five-month period and said that the messages were intended to retaliate against the senators for performing their official duties.

Johnson agreed as part of the plea agreement to issuance of a three-year federal protective order after his release from federal prison. The protective order will prohibit Johnson from contacting Murkowski and Sullivan, their families, or staff. Johnson faces a maximum penalty of a decade in federal prison for each charge, as well as forfeiture of seven firearms found by the FBI in Johnson’s residence during execution of a search warrant.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Tansey.