TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – This afternoon a federal jury convicted Daniel Alan Baker, 33, of Tallahassee on two counts of transmitting a communication in interstate commerce containing a threat to kidnap or injure another person. The conviction, which followed a two-day trial that began Tuesday morning, was announced by Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Baker was arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on January 15, 2021, after he issued a “Call to Arms” for like-minded individuals to violently confront protestors that may gather at the Florida Capitol in the wake of the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. He specifically called for others to join him in encircling any protestors and confining them at the state Capitol complex using firearms. Baker posted two such threatening communications on January 12 and 14, 2021.
“The free exercise of speech is central to our democracy,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Coody. “However, the defendant’s threats of armed violence to inhibit expression of political views different than his own are both unlawful and dangerous. This office and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting public safety, and the jury’s verdict today has ensured that the defendant will be held accountable for his actions.”
At trial, evidence was presented showing that both threatening communications were true threats. The evidence included Baker’s foreign and domestic military training, his experience with firearms and explosives, as well as his social media posts that threatened the use violence and calls to war against those of different ideologies. Jurors observed social media posts in which Baker proclaimed himself as an anarchist, relayed his desire to slay his enemies, and boasted about assaulting law enforcement officers at protests in addition to his capabilities as a trained sniper. The evidence also included three firearms, a loaded shotgun and handgun depicted in many of his posts which were seized from Baker at the time of his arrest, and a third firearm, an AK-47 style rifle purchased by Baker days before transmission of his “Call to Arms.”
Baker’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 16, 2021, at 3:30 pm, at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee before the Honorable Allen Winsor. Baker faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release on each count.
“This case proves that the FBI will not tolerate those who seek to wreak havoc in our communities,” said Rachel L. Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “Violence designed to intimidate citizens and influence government is what the FBI’s counterterrorism team was designed to combat, and our team remains laser focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals who cross the line from expressing beliefs to violating federal law by inciting violence or engaging in criminal activity. The communities of North Florida deserve nothing less than our full commitment to aggressively pursue these cases, and we will continue to work alongside our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. We are especially grateful for the work of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Leon County Sheriff’s Office and Tallahassee Police Department in this case.”
This conviction was the result of a collaborative investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tallahassee Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen Kunz and Lazaro Fields prosecuted this case.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.
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