Texas man sentenced to 33 months for threatening California Rep. Waters

A Texas man who threatened Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner sentenced Brian Michael Gaherty, a 62-year-old living in Houston, to 33 months after he pleaded guilty to one count of threatening a U.S. official.

Klausner, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, also fined Gaherty $10,000 and applied a hate-crime enhancement to Gaherty’s sentence, stating that Gaherty targeted Waters because of her race.

In 2022, Gaherty made four separate phone calls to Waters’s offices in Los Angeles County, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California.

In his calls, Gaherty spewed racial epithets as he threatened to assault or murder her.

In one voicemail to the 85-year-old congresswoman, Gaherty called Waters a racial slur and threatened to cut her throat.

Gaherty threatened to “put a cap” between Waters’s eyes and “stomp” her. He also told her that she “better move” because he and his “boys in the area” had a “contract” on her life.

Authorities contacted Gaherty in October 2022 and warned him to stop calling Waters, but he continued his threats.

In November 2022, Gaherty left Waters two additional voicemails. In one, he told Waters, “This ain’t no threat. It’s a … promise.”

He also repeated an earlier message that he and his “crowd” had a contract on her life. “You better watch your back,” he warned.

Last August, Gaherty was arrested and indicted on eight counts for the threats: four counts of making threats in interstate communications and four counts of threatening a United States official.

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

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