A Dillingham man already charged with murder in the deaths of two local residents is now also facing federal charges he posted antisemitic threats on a controversial unmoderated website and targeted a Florida sheriff who spoke out against such violence.
Joshua Wahl, 31, was arrested in August on separate charges of first- and second-degree murder in state court after two people were found shot to death inside an apartment.
Wahl began posting antisemitic sentiments on the unmoderated website 4chan in 2019, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court of Alaska. The posts included death threats and an image of a bomb, the indictment said.
Wahl also posted videos online depicting himself and others “using high-powered lasers” as weapons to blind law enforcement, according to the indictment.
In February, Sheriff Michael Chitwood of Volusia County, Florida, made national headlines when he spoke out against people who distributed antisemitic fliers and broadcast a message supporting Adolf Hitler.
In April, Wahl began posting threats to kill and injure Chitwood on 4chan, the indictment said. He also emailed Chitwood threats, which included descriptions of weapons he owned and videos of him burning through a photo of Chitwood with a laser, according to the indictment. The threats continued until at least July, the indictment said.
On Aug. 19, Wahl was arrested on murder charges tied to the deaths of 32-year-old Jennifer Gardiner and 31-year-old Timothy Evans. He was connected to the crime because he left a distinctive weapon at the scene that investigators identified as belonging to him through online videos and posts on 4chan, according to the affidavit filed in that case.
Rex Butler, who is representing Wahl in the state case, said in an interview Tuesday that his client was friends with Gardiner and Evans. Wahl was at the store and not present when they were shot and killed at a house in Dillingham, Butler said. The gun that police used to tie Wahl to the crime belonged to one of the victims, he said.
Butler said he was not yet representing Wahl in the federal case.
An indictment filed in federal court and unsealed Monday charged Wahl with cyberstalking and transmitting threats in interstate commerce. Wahl remained in custody at the Anchorage Correctional Center on Tuesday afternoon on a $200,000 bail in the state case.