Alaska man charged with threats against Florida sheriff who spoke against antisemitic activity

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Volusia County, Fla. Sheriff Michael Chitwood (From Florida Sheriffs Association)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska man facing murder charges in state court has now also been indicted on federal charges of cyberstalking and threatening a Florida sheriff who spoke out against antisemitic activity, authorities said Tuesday.

Joshua Wahl, 31, is accused of emailing a threat to Michael Chitwood, the sheriff of Volusia County, Florida, and posting threats against Chitwood on a social media platform popular with far-right extremists, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Alaska announced.

Chitwood garnered national attention in February when he spoke out against people who had distributed antisemitic flyers and who had broadcast a message supporting Adolf Hitler, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

According to the indictment, Wahl allegedly emailed a threat to Chitwood in late March and began posting threats against him in April. The threats continued until at least July, the indictment states.

Wahl, who is from the southwest Alaska community of Dillingham, is facing murder charges in state court in the deaths of two people who were killed in August. He remained in custody at the Anchorage Correctional Center on a $200,000 bail in the state case.

The federal online court records system did not yet show an attorney for Wahl in the federal case. Attorney Rex Butler, who is representing Wahl in the state case, told the newspaper he was not yet representing Wahl in the federal case.

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