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Denton County Man Threatens Jewish Organization

SHERMAN, Texas – According to U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston, the Eastern District of Texas sentenced a Denton man for violations.

Anthony Joseph Hammer, 34, pleaded guilty on May 3, 2022, to interstate threat communication and was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell.

According to information presented in court, on July 28, 2021, Hammer sent a threatening electronic message to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish civil rights organization based in New York, via the ADL’s website’s contact page. In his message, Hammer said, “Come and find me. Come after me. Come hunt me down. This is me. This is really me. All of my info. I will kill all of you Zionist pigs. Fourth Reich soon.”

“Threatening to harm others by using phones, computers or mail is a federal crime and taken very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “Hammer believed he could promote his malicious agenda by threatening to kill and disrupt business activity. That’s why he is going to jail. Others who do the same will have the same fate.”

“The FBI is tasked with upholding the Constitution to include the right to Free Speech as outlined in the First Amendment. Unfortunately, in this case, the direct threats made by the defendant fell outside of that protected right,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarborough. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners take all threats seriously and will hold accountable anyone who seeks to intimidate and cause fear simply because they disagree with the views of their fellow citizens.”

An investigation by federal agents revealed that Hammer was already under investigation for threatening calls he made to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s office. Hammer made seven calls to Governor Wolf’s office requesting to speak to the Governor. When staff members refused to put him through to the Governor, Hammer repeatedly threatened to kill Wolf and his staff members. The Eastern District of Texas considered his conduct in calculating Hammer’s appropriate sentence.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Pennsylvania Capitol Police and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Locker in the Eastern District of Texas in coordination with Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Marchioli in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.