Delta Junction man who threatened to murder Alaska’s US senators pleads guilty

Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski speaking to the media
Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski in August 2020. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

A Delta Junction man pleaded guilty Monday to two federal charges of threatening to kill Alaska’s U.S. Senators.

Jay Allen Johnson signed a plea agreement that states he’s guilty of threatening to murder Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan in separate voicemail messages he left in September.

Those are two of six counts listed on a Nov. 19 indictment. In return for Johnson’s guilty pleas, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Tansey agreed to not pursue the other counts, which include allegations of weapons misconduct related to seven firearms that federal officers seized during a raid on Johnson’s home in Delta Junction in October. Federal law prohibits him from owning or having access to firearms because he’s a convicted felon.

The 65-year-old Johnson was arrested Oct. 4 and since then has been held at Fairbanks Correction Center.

Johnson’s attorney, Jason Weiner, didn’t return a phone call for comment Monday, and neither did the offices of Murkowski or Sullivan.

A U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson said Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 8. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release after he serves jail time.

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Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.