A man accused of threatening to kill Alaska’s two U.S. senators in profanity-filled voicemails left on their office phones over several months had a stockpile of guns at his rural Alaska home, authorities have alleged in court documents.
Jay Allen Johnson, 65, faces charges of threatening to murder a U.S. official, threatening interstate communications, being a felon in possession of weapons and threatening to destroy property by fire.
The government wants to seize seven weapons – three pistols, two revolvers, a rifle and a shotgun – found after they searched Johnson’s home in the small community of Delta Junction. Court documents said he is a felon because of several driving under the influence charges.
The gun forfeiture request was among issues expected to be discussed in court Tuesday at Johnson’s preliminary hearing on the alleged threats against U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan at their Washington, D.C. offices.
The government played some of the voicemails at Johnson’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court in on Oct. 8, including one directed at Murkowski. The caller said he was upset over immigration policies and threatened to hire an assassin to kill her.
“Your life is worth $5,000, that’s all it’s worth,” the message said. “And as you let in these terrorists, assassins, guess what? I’m going to use them. I’m going to hire them.”
The caller was also upset that Murkowski voted to convict former President Donald Trump during his impeachment trial earlier this year and warned Sullivan that he was tired of politicians ruining the country. He vowed to bring out his .50-calibre firearm and start a crowdsourcing page to pay for the bullets.
“The next insurrection, it will be an insurrection. Period,” the man said in another voicemail.
Johnson’s wife, Catherine Pousson-Johnson, said her husband was in pain after recent surgeries on his spine, knee and shoulder.
“My husband is an old man, and he gets very angry listening to politics on the news,” she said.
Against his public defender’s wishes, Johnson also spoke at the earlier hearing: “I’m a senior citizen and I am highly disabled and I will not be carrying out any of these threats.”
“I just apologize to everybody,” he said later in the hearing.
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