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Man Sentenced in LA to Prison for Making Threats to Rep. Maxine Waters

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A 61-year-old man was sentenced Monday to nearly three years behind bars for making a series of phone calls to the Hawthorne office of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, and threatening her with violence and death.

Brian Gaherty of Houston, Texas, was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine along with the 33-month term in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner found that Gaherty targeted Waters because of her race and applied a hate-crime enhancement to Gaherty’s sentence.

Gaherty pleaded guilty in January in downtown Los Angeles to one felony count of threatening a United States official.

A criminal indictment filed in federal court states that Gaherty called the congresswoman’s office twice in August 2022 and twice in November 2022. Gaherty left four voicemails, each of which contained a threat.

For example, in one of the calls, Gaherty threatened to “cut your throat,” court papers show.

“Threats to harm or kill elected officials are anathema to our nation’s values and must not — and will not — be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement. “My office and the entire Department of Justice will continue to combat threats against public officials and other attempts to chill democracy.”

Gaherty admitted in his plea agreement to threatening Waters with extreme violence. He made the threats with the intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with Waters while she was engaged in the performance of her official duties, federal prosecutors said.

Authorities contacted Gaherty and warned him to disengage in October 2022, but a few weeks later, he persisted with his threats.

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