Judge enhances Houston man's sentence for racially charged threats against Rep. Maxine Waters

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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On Monday, a Houston man was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for making several threatening phone calls to California Democratic U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters.

Brian Michael Gaherty, 61, was sentenced and fined $10,000 by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner.

SEE PREVIOUS STORY: Houston man indicted for alleged threat to kill US Rep. Waters

The judge found that Gaherty targeted Waters because of her race and applied a hate-crime enhancement to Gaherty's sentence.

On Jan. 29, Gaherty pleaded guilty to one count of threatening a United States official.

In his plea agreement, Gaherty admitted threatening to assault and murder Waters on four occasions in August and November 2022.

According to officials, Gaherty made these threats with the intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with Waters while she was engaged in the performance of her official duties.

Gaherty left four voicemails at Waters' district office in Los Angeles County, each of which contained a violent threat, profanity, and racist and misogynistic language.

In August 2022, Gaherty threatened to "put a cap" between the congresswoman's eyes," "cut [her] throat," and "stomp" her. He further warned that she "better move" because he and his "boys in the area" had a "contract" on her life.

Authorities contacted Gaherty and told him to disengage in Oct. 2022, but a few weeks later, he continued with more violent threats.

In November 2022, Gaherty left Waters two additional voicemails, informing Waters that she "done [expletive] up" by reporting his threats to law enforcement, and stated, "This ain't no threat. It's a ...promise."

He also threatened to meet Waters "on the street" and "get in [her] face," and again told her that he and his "crowd" had a contract to "take [her]... out." Finally, he warned, "You better watch your back."

The United States Capitol Police and the FBI investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorney Laura A. Alexander of the Environmental Crimes and Consumer Protection Section prosecuted this case.