An Alaska man named Joshua Wahl, known as Laseranon on YouTube, has been arrested and charged with cyberstalking after repeatedly threatening Florida Sheriff Michael Chitwood. The threats came in response to Sheriff Chitwood’s press conference in February 2023, where he called out a group of individuals distributing antisemitic propaganda, including messages of support for Adolf Hitler.
Wahl, who identified himself as a member of a loose group of neo-Nazis organizing on Telegram group chats, claimed responsibility for antisemitic messages spray-painted on buildings in Florida, California, and Texas during Halloween weekend in 2022. Following Chitwood’s press conference, Wahl sent a series of threats to the sheriff via email and posts on 4chan.
In one email sent on March 31, Wahl claimed to be armed with lasers and explosives, thanking Chitwood for his previous threats to arrest him. He also posted a video on his Laseranon YouTube account, titled “IN MINECRAFT,” where he burned a picture of Chitwood’s face. The term “in Minecraft” is commonly used online to conceal the true nature of criminal activity.
Wahl’s YouTube channel, Laseranon, featured videos on how felons could arm themselves and included content demonstrating the use of smoke grenades and laser guns. The channel also contained previous antisemitic sentiments and threats.
On April 21, Wahl posted an image from the video of him burning Chitwood’s picture, abandoning the Minecraft facade and explicitly calling for violence against the sheriff. Wahl’s actions led to his arrest and subsequent charges of cyberstalking.
The investigation into Wahl’s activities revealed his involvement in promoting illegal activities and providing instructions on how to circumvent firearm restrictions. The arrest of another individual in New Jersey for making similar threats against Sheriff Chitwood using the same qualifier highlights the seriousness of the situation.
Authorities are taking these threats seriously and are working to ensure the safety of Sheriff Chitwood and the community.