State Sen. Wendy Rogers, Trumped Store Under Threat; teacher arrested

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A Tucson college music teacher has been charged with making a terrorism threat after state investigators say he sent an email targeting State Sen. Wendy Rogers. Arizona and a Trump merchandise store at Show Low.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety arrested Donald Glenn Brown, 58, an orchestra teacher at Pistor Middle School in Tucson, on Sept. 7 following an investigation into the incident.

Although Brown lives in Tucson, authorities believe the email was sent from her mother’s residence in Pinedale, about 15 miles from the eastern Arizona town of Show Low.

Brown emailed the threat to the Trumped Store in Show Low on July 4 from a fake account with the subject line “Wendy Rogers will (expletive) die,” according to a DPS report. Rogers was at Show Low for the Independence Day Parade.

Donald Glenn Brown

The swear-laden email, which appeared to be from a ‘Jessica James’, said ‘Jim and Jessica’ were parked at a fast food joint next to the Trumped Store with ‘a pair of AR-15s’ .

“We’re going to walk into your… joke store and start shooting,” the email said. The writer threatened to shoot Rogers – who is branded a “traitor” – in the head before shooting the store.

“Some true patriots will fight back and…Rogers will die,” the email continued. “(Expletive) your traitor… tRump.”

Brown could not be reached for comment. The Tucson Unified School District did not immediately return an appeal regarding Brown’s employment status. A receptionist at Pistor Middle School said he was not at work Thursday.

Store owner: “We took it very seriously”

The parade in the small northern Arizona town, which featured elected officials including Rogers, R-Flagstaff and state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, had just ended when the email was sent around 11 a.m.

Rogers, a Trump-supporting Republican who gained national notoriety for promoting campaign conspiracies and hard-line rhetoric, had posted a photo of herself and her supporters at the Trumped Store to her Twitter account at 9:40 a.m. before to participate in the parade.

Store co-owner Steve Slaton said Rogers returned to the store around 11:30 a.m. with fellow parade attendee Eli Crane, the Republican candidate who was facing off against Democrat Tom O’Halleran in U.S. Congressional District 2. Arizona. Members of Crane’s family and several campaign workers were also in the store. By the time Slaton checked his emails around 1 p.m., Crane and his family had left but Rogers was still inside.

Senator Wendy Rogers and Congressional candidate Eli Crane at Show Low's 4th of July Parade.

Slaton and a Rogers campaign worker pushed Rogers out of the store and notified police, Slaton wrote in an email to The Arizona Republic. Rogers worked with Show Low police “the rest of the day and night” as she changed locations, Slaton wrote.

Rogers did not return a message seeking comment.

“Needless to say, we had a lot of high value targets here at the store that day,” Slaton said in the email. “We’ve had threats over the years, but this one was scarier than those in the past. We took it very seriously.”

While in custody following his arrest, Brown told DPS officers that he created the email account and sent the threat, records show.

“Brown said he sent the email out of frustration and apologized,” according to DPS records.

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Pima County declined to prosecute

Pima County District Attorney Laura Conover’s office sent a letter to Slaton last month advising that prosecutors had “tentatively” decided to deny charges against Brown based on the evidence. Navajo County District Attorney Brad Carlyon then took the case and requested the indictment. Conover and Carlyon are both Democrats.

Carlyon declined to discuss details of the case, but gave a copy of the case report to The Republic.

A Navajo County grand jury indicted Brown Oct. 4 for uttering a terrorist threat, a Class 3 felony. He faces a potential 3.5 years in prison.

Brown was released after his arrest and has a court date for his initial appearance in Navajo County Superior Court in Holbrook at 9 a.m. on October 31.

Rogers, with its far-right politics and Trump’s endorsement, has an extremely loyal following nationwide and has raised millions of dollars in campaign funds. Yet it has also sown division within the Republican Party.

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She was censorship by her Republican peers in March for “conduct unbecoming a senator” for inflammatory messages, including one in which she called for the public hanging of political enemies. The State Senate investigated her for a bizarre article referring to the “summer of the fed boys” – interpreted by some media as promoting an anti-FBI conspiracy theory – following the massacre of 13 black people in a grocery store by a racist gunman in Buffalo .

Rogers beat fellow Holocaust denier Kelly Townsend in the August primary election and appears to be heading for re-election in his heavily Republican district, which stretches from Flagstaff to Apache Junction, against Democrat Kyle Nitschke.

Other AZ officials targeted by threats

Three other men, all from other states, have been arrested in recent weeks by federal authorities on suspicion of sending threats to Arizona officials.

A Massachusetts man was arrested in July for issuing a bomb threat to Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs, a Democrat. A Missouri man was charged in August with leaving a threatening voicemail message for Maricopa County Republican recorder Stephen Richer. And this month, an Iowa man was arrested in connection with an email threatening to “lynch” Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman.

The US Department of Justice’s Election Threats Task Force is handling these cases.

Contact the reporter at rstern@arizonarepublic.com or 480-276-3237. Follow him on Twitter @raystern.

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