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An Oklahoma man pleaded guilty Wednesday to cyberstalking Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., and threatening to “kidnap and assault” Hern and his wife, court papers show.
Under the terms of the plea deal, Keith Charles Eisenberger, 39, of Bartlesville, is likely to be sentenced to three years in prison for what federal prosecutors described as a yearslong campaign of threats and harassment.
A criminal complaint filed this year in the Northern District of Oklahoma said Eisenberger had a history of harassing politicians in the state and turned his focus to Hern after he took office in 2018.
Eisenberger called Hern’s staff in late 2018, complained that Hern’s election was “illegal” and said, “I will do everything I can to stop this,” the complaint said. The threatening calls continued, and Eisenberger later showed up at Hern’s Washington, D.C., office demanding to see him, according to the complaint. He also posted messages and videos on Facebook, where he threatened to put Hern in the hospital and said he wanted to drag him and his wife out of bed and arrest them.
In the plea agreement, prosecutors and Eisenberger’s attorney agreed that the sentencing guidelines call for 36 months in prison followed by 36 months of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson said in a statement that the guilty plea shows that his office “and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate online threats of violence meant to intimidate elected officials or members of our community.”
The guilty plea comes weeks after a Seattle man, Brett Forsell, 49, was arrested and accused of yelling racist threats outside the home of Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., while armed with a handgun. Forsell has pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony stalking.
In June, an armed man was arrested near the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after he called 911 on himself. When police detained him, the man said he was there to kill the justice, authorities said. The suspect, Nicholas John Roske, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder of a federal judge.