Sponsored by

Local

Note: This story is more than 2 years old.

Tucson man faces federal charges for threatening impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff

A Tucson man has been charged in federal court with threatening to shoot Rep. Adam Schiff, one of the House managers in the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Jan Peter Meister, 52, told investigators that he left a drunken and obscene voicemail threatening the prominent Democratic congressman, according to court records first reported by journalist Nick Martin of The Informant.

"I'm gonna fucking blow your brains out you fucking piece of shit," Meister said, according to an indictment filed last year.

Meister reeked of alcohol when arrested at 7 a.m. on Oct. 25, and cursed at agents as well as saying "Fuck Adam Schiff," prosecutors said.

The case came to public notice after Meister's attorney, Brad Roach of Tucson, filed a document using Schiff's full name last week. Previous filings by federal prosecutors had obliquely referenced Schiff as "Congressman A.S."

Meister, who reportedly has a lengthy criminal record and is a registered sex offender convicted of rape in Maryland, also faces charges of being a felon in possession of firearms.

Meister told investigators that "he watches Fox News and likely was upset at something that he saw on the news. He stated that he strongly dislikes the Democrats, and feels they are to blame for the country's political issues," court records said.

Meister googled Schiff's phone number, and left the obscene tirade on his voicemail last October 1, the indictment said.

Like what you're reading? Support high-quality local journalism and help underwrite independent news without the spin.

According to the indictment, filed on October 23, 2019, Meister said "Yeah, go fuck your mother, you son of a bitch cause I'm gonna fucking blow your brains out you fucking piece of shit mother, fucker, you're a fucking piece of shit. You fucking piece of shit mother fucker. Yeah watch. I'm gonna fuck your asshole you piece of shit son of a bitch. Yeah come get me. I guarantee I'll fuck your brains out."

Meister is charged with violating 18 USC 875(c), transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, and 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

A search of his trailer home near Three Points turned up an AR-15-style rifle, two pistols and about 800 rounds of ammo, prosecutors said. Meister told police that the guns belong to his wife, Dionne.

He faces up to five years in federal prison on the threat charge, and 10 years on the firearms charges.

Meister, who has pleaded not guilty, is slated to stand trial on March 9.

"Mr. Meister is looking forward to proving that he did not engage in any criminal conduct and being acquitted at trial," defense attorney Roach told TucsonSentinel.com on Tuesday. Roach declined to comment in detail regarding the charges.

Despite requests from his attorneys to be released on bail or to attend an inpatient treatment facility, the judge in the case has denied those motions. Meister remains in federal custody.

U.S. Capitol Police determined Meister had made the call using basic phone records.

During an interview on Oct. 3, Meister acknowledged making the call when questioned by federal agents, who played a recording of the message.

Meister, who has not recently been employed, told police he was intoxicated and "did not specifically remember making the phone call."

Thanks for reading TucsonSentinel.com. Tell your friends to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Meister was convicted for Aggravated DUI three times in 2001 and 2002, prosecutors said, but had his state right to possess firearms restored by a Maricopa County judge and his record expunged — despite his probation having been revoked in two of the cases.

But, Meister was convicted in two separate felony sex offenses in Maryland in 1989. In one, he was convicted of 2nd degree rape and sentenced to 15 years in prison and 5 years of probation. Once released, he violated his probation and was sentenced to 5 years in prison in 1996, prosecutors said in court papers.

Meister was also convicted of a 4th degree sexual offense and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in 1989, and was sentenced to 1 year and 3 years in prison, running concurrently, prosecutors said, asking the judge in the current case to have him detained pending trial.

Prosecutors noted that his federal right to possess firearms had not been restored, listing the Maryland felony convictions that remain on his record.

Following the Oct. 3 interview, police obtained a search warrant for Meister's fifth-wheel trailer and shipping container, which was served Oct. 18.

In addition to the firearms listed in the indictment, investigators found a black-powder revolver in drawer in Meister's bedroom, and a black-powder muzzle-loading rifle "propped up by the bed."

The weapons were described by agents as "strategically located within the trailer." The rifle and a loaded 9mm handgun were found in an unlocked storage container next to the trailer.

"The defendant was expeditiously indicted ... before the next sitting federal grand jury" on Oct. 23, court documents said.

The arrest warrant was served at 7 a.m. on Oct. 25, and Meister, who emanated a "strong odor of alcohol," cursed at agents and said "Fuck Adam Schiff," prosecutors wrote.

A secondary indictment was filed in December, following the discovering of the weapons on the property.

Despite the propensity of prosecutors to throw the book at defendants, Meister does not face a charge of threatening a federal official.

A Tucson man who left drunken threats on then-U.S. Rep. Martha McSally's office voicemail in 2017 was sentenced to 15 months in prison for threatening to "assault and murder a United States official" during a series of phone calls.

Steve Martan, then 58, was also sentenced to 3 years of probation. He was released from federal custody last year, 13 months after being sentenced.

Martan had called the Republican congresswoman's office multiple times and made threats, including "Can't wait to fucking pull the trigger bitch."

He pleaded guilty in the case.

In an exclusive interview with TucsonSentinel.com in 2017, Martan said he was "venting with a buzz" and acknowledged making the calls.

"Our community should be deeply disturbed by these threats," C..J. Karamargin, then McSally's congressional district director, said about that case in 2017. "Threatening to shoot a member of Congress between the eyes and telling them their 'days are numbered' is sickening."

Thanks for reading TucsonSentinel.com. Tell your friends to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

"Sadly, we know — maybe better than any other congressional district in the country — what happens when threats of violence become acts of violence," said Karamargin, who was the chief spokesman for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at the time of the Jan. 8, 2011, assassination attempt on the Democratic congresswoman.

Another Tucson man was charged with making threats after an arrest at a sit-in at U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake's office in 2017. That followed the shooting attack on a group of Republican lawmakers just outside Washington, D.C., that included Flake. U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and four others were wounded, and the gunman was shot to death by police.

- 30 -
have your say   

Comments

There are no comments on this report. Sorry, comments are closed.

Sorry, we missed your input...

You must be logged in or register to comment

Read all of TucsonSentinel.com's
coronavirus reporting here »