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Date: 06-17-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Brian Michael Gaherty

Case Number:

Judge: R. Gary Klausner

Court: The United States District c for the Central District of California

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office for Los Angeles

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description:

Los Angeles, California criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with Threatening Violence Against Los Angeles-Area Congresswoman

Texas Man Sentenced to Nearly 3 Years in Federal Prison for Threatening Violence Against Los Angeles-Area Congresswoman



A Texas man was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison for making a series of threatening telephone calls to the district office of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, an elected official representing California’s 43rd Congressional District, which comprises of parts of Los Angeles, including South Los Angeles, as well as parts of the South Bay.

Brian Michael Gaherty, 61, of Houston, was sentenced by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner, who also fined Gaherty $10,000. Judge Klausner found that Gaherty targeted Waters because of her race and applied a hate-crime enhancement to Gaherty’s sentence.

Gaherty pleaded guilty on January 29 to one count 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.”

Gaherty admitted in his plea agreement to threatening to assault and murder Waters on four separate occasions in August and November of 2022. Gaherty made these threats with the intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with Waters while she was engaged in the performance of her official duties.

Specifically, Gaherty left four voicemails at Waters’ district office in Los Angeles County, each of which contained a violent threat, profanity, and racist and misogynistic language. In August 2022, Gaherty threatened to “put a cap” between the congresswoman’s eyes,” “cut [her] throat,” “stomp” her. He further warned that she “better move” because he and his “boys in the area” had a “contract” on her life.

Authorities contacted Gaherty and warned him to disengage in October 2022, but a few weeks later, he persisted with his violent threats. In November 2022, Gaherty left Waters two additional voicemails, informing Waters that she “done [expletive] up” by reporting his threats to law enforcement, and stated, “This ain’t no threat. It’s a …promise.” He also threatened to meet Waters “on the street” and “get in [her] face,” and again told her that he and his “crowd” had a contract to “take [her]… out.” Finally, he warned, “You better watch your back.”

The United States Capitol Police investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorney Laura A. Alexander of the Environmental Crimes and Consumer Protection Section prosecuted this case.

Outcome:

Defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 33 months in federal prison

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