Alabama man charged with threatening Georgia DA and sheriff over Trump investigation

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2024

An Alabama man has been indicted on charges of making threats to Fulton County (Georgia) District Attorney Fani Willis and Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Arthur Ray Hanson, II, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta on charges of threatening Willis and Labat because of their connections to the Fulton County, Georgia, investigation of former President Donald Trump. Hanson made his initial appearance in federal court in Huntsville and will be formally arraigned in Atlanta on November 13.

“Sending interstate threats to physically harm prosecutors and law enforcement officers is a vile act intended to interfere with the administration of justice and intimidate individuals who accept a solemn duty to protect and safeguard the rights of citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “When someone threatens to harm public servants for doing their jobs to enforce our criminal laws, it potentially weakens the very foundation of our society. Our office will labor tirelessly with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to help ensure that law enforcement officials are free to serve our communities without the threat of physical attack.”

“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, but also a threat against our democratic process,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution. We take this responsibility very seriously and seek to punish those who engage in this type of criminal behavior, and to send the message that such conduct will not be tolerated.”

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the indictment, and other information presented in court: On August 6, 2023, Arthur Ray Hanson called the Fulton County Government customer services line twice and left two voicemails—the first for Sheriff Labat and the second for District Attorney Willis. During both calls, Hanson threatened violence against the officials.

In his message for the Sheriff, Hanson made statements that included: “if you think you gonna take a mugshot of my President Donald Trump and it’s gonna be ok, you gonna find out that after you take that mugshot, some bad [expletive]’s probably gonna happen to you;” “if you take a mugshot of the President and you’re the reason it happened, some bad [expletive]’s gonna happen to you;” “I’m warning you right now before you [expletive] up your life and get hurt real bad;” “whether you got a [expletive] badge or not ain’t gonna help you none;” and “you gonna get [expletive]ed up you keep [expletive]ing with my President.”

In Hanson’s message for the District Attorney, he made statements that included: “watch it when you’re going to the car at night, when you’re going into your house, watch everywhere that you’re going;” “I would be very afraid if I were you because you can’t be around people all the time that are going to protect you;” “there’s gonna be moments when you’re gonna be vulnerable;” “when you charge Trump on that fourth indictment, anytime you’re alone, be looking over your shoulder;” and “what you put out there, [expletive], comes back at you ten times harder, and don’t ever forget it.”

Arthur Ray Hanson, II, 59, of Huntsville, Alabama, was indicted October 25, 2023. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bret R. Hobson and Brent Alan Gray are prosecuting the case.