Massachusetts Man Arrested for Making Bomb Threat to Arizona State Election Official

A Massachusetts man was arrested today in Falmouth, Massachusetts for allegedly sending a communication containing a bomb threat to an election official in the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

James W. Clark, 38, of Falmouth, is charged with one count of making a bomb threat, one count of perpetrating a bomb hoax, and one count of communicating an interstate threat. Clark made his initial appearance last week at the federal courthouse in Boston.

“Illegal threats of violence put election officials and workers at risk and undermine the bedrock of our democracy: free and fair elections,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Our Election Threats Task Force, working with partners across the nation, will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute illegal threats like these to hold accountable those who threaten our democracy.”

“Throughout Arizona, we are fortunate to have highly professional state, county and local officials who administer elections in a fair and impartial manner,” said U.S. Attorney Gary M. Restaino. “Democracy requires that we support those officials, and that we take seriously allegations of threats or violence against them.”

“The FBI takes all threat-to-life matters very seriously,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Chris Ormerod of the FBI’s Phoenix field office. “While this arrest demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to hold accountable anyone who tries to intimidate a public official, it also shows that people cannot threaten others with violence and physical harm without repercussions.”

According to the indictment, on or about Feb. 14, 2021, Clark allegedly sent the following message via the website contact form of the Elections Division, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, addressed to the election official: “Your attorney general needs to resign by Tuesday February 16th by 9 am or the explosive device impacted in her personal space will be detonated.”

The indictment also alleges that Clark utilized a web browser to search for the address of the election official and searched for “how to kill” the election official. The indictment further alleges that, on or about Feb. 18, 2021, Clark utilized a web browser to search for “fema boston marathon bombing” and “fema boston marathon bombing plan digital army.”

If convicted, Clark faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison for making the bomb threat and up to five years in prison for each of the counts on the bomb hoax and making a threatening interstate communication.