Man who left threatening voicemails for ex-Speaker Pelosi and DHS Sec. Mayorkas sentenced to 11 months in prison

March 28, 2024
by
Ben Marquis

A California man who threatened to physically harm former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), as well as Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, has now been dealt with by the nation's federal justice system.

David Allen Carrier, 44, was ordered by a judge on Wednesday to serve 11 months in prison for the threatening voicemails he left for the two federal officials, according to The Hill.

Once that prison sentence has been completed, Carrier will also be required to serve three years of supervised release and abide by certain other conditions imposed by the court during that time.

Charged with threatening assault against Pelosi and Mayorkas

According to a Justice Department press release, Carrier first called then-Speaker Pelosi's office on Jan. 21, 2021, just two weeks after the Capitol riot, and left a voicemail threatening physical assault against the congresswoman.

More than a year and a half later, the man similarly called a special hotline for the Department of Homeland Security and again left a voicemail message that threatened physical assault against Sec. Mayorkas.

Carrier was eventually indicted by a federal grand jury in September 2023 and was charged with two counts of violating the federal statute 18 U.S.C. § 115(a)(1)(B).

That statute reads: "Whoever --threatens to assault, kidnap, or murder, a United States official, a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement officer, or an official whose killing would be a crime under such section, with intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with such official, judge, or law enforcement officer while engaged in the performance of official duties, or with intent to retaliate against such official, judge, or law enforcement officer on account of the performance of official duties, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b)."

Subsection (b) of the statute specifies in the relevant part that "A threat made in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine under this title or imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years, or both, except that imprisonment for a threatened assault shall not exceed 6 years."

Carrier's sentence is lenient in comparison to the statute's maximum penalties

Likely because Carrier pleaded guilty to the two charges against him in December, not to mention his admission that his threats were intended to interfere with the "official duties" of the two threatened officials, he appears to have received a far more lenient sentence from Senior U.S. District Judge William Alsup than the statute allowed for.

The judge chose not to impose any fine on the defendant and only ordered him to serve 11 months in prison when the maximum sentence could have been as many as six years behind bars.

As for the three years of supervised release after the prison sentence was completed, that included a requirement that Carrier receive treatment for mental health and substance abuse, as well as to have no contact whatsoever with former Speaker Pelosi or Sec. Mayorkas, among other conditions.

Federal officials comment on resolution of Carrier's case

"Participating in the public political conversation is an important right for all citizens," U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey said in the DOJ release. "Nevertheless, threatening our public servants is not protected by the First Amendment and corrodes our ability to engage in peaceful and important public discourse. This Office will not tolerate behavior that crosses the line to criminal threats."

FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Tripp said in a statement, "Violent threats targeting elected officials also threaten our democratic system," and added, "Today's sentence demonstrates that anyone who sends politically motivated threats of violence to government officials will be investigated by the FBI and held accountable."

The U.S. Secret Service was also involved in investigating Carrier's threats, and Special Agent in Charge Shawn Bradstreet stated in the press release, "We take threats against a U.S. Secret Service protectee very seriously. This is a great example of the coordination and partnership between the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California to investigate and prosecute threats against our nation’s leaders."

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