Federal judge denies bail for Delta Junction man accused of threatening Sullivan and Murkowski

Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski in August, 2020. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

A federal magistrate has ordered a man accused of threatening Alaska’s two U.S. senators to remain behind bars.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Alaska District Office says U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott Oravec ruled Friday that 65-year-old Jay Allen Johnson of Delta Junction will continue to be held at Fairbanks Correctional Center. He’s been there since FBI agents arrested him on Oct. 4 on suspicion of leaving a total of 17 threatening voicemail messages for Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan earlier this year.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson said in an email Friday that Oravec’s ruling came at the end of a bail review hearing requested by Johnson’s defense lawyer. The email says that “the court did not find any condition that will sufficiently protect the community if Mr. Johnson is released.”

A grand jury indicted Johnson last week on charges that include threatening to murder a federal official, threatening to destroy property by fire and being a felon in possession of firearms.

An arraignment on the indictment is scheduled to be held on Monday morning, Nov. 22.

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