A man formerly of Monmouth County who lived at his mother’s home in Toms River while simultaneously running for a Congressional seat in Oregon, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison over making threatening telephone and email communications to New Jersey state officials, judges, law enforcement officers, and attorneys, and phoning in false bomb threats to local and state government offices, a police department, two law firms and a commercial establishment.
Eric Hafner, who also ran for a Congressional seat in Hawaii (in both Congressional runs his platform simply called for legalizing drugs), traveled from Hawaii to Tokyo, leading to a series of disturbing incidents detailed in the indictment. In July 2016, Hafner placed a call to an unidentified Monmouth County police department, where he had been previously arrested on a delinquency complaint. During this call, he stated that the arresting officer “deserves to get shot,” according to the indictment.
Hafner reportedly targeted the officer’s spouse, issuing a menacing threat concerning their young child, promising that the child would have his “head bashed in.” Additionally, he directed threats towards three other officers within the same department, warning them to be worried about a “kerosene bomb,” ominously claiming that “it’s gonna explode,” as stated in the indictment.
Hafner’s threats extended to other individuals, including an assistant county prosecutor. He threatened to harm the prosecutor, saying he would “slice him up and feed him to his dogs.” In a chilling communication with the judge presiding over the case, Hafner went as far as stating, “I’m going to get a bullet” in the judge’s head, according to the indictment.
Even an elected official found themselves targeted by Hafner’s menacing behavior, as he threatened to kill the official over the judge’s reappointment.
One of the victims received an email from Hafner, containing the message: “You need to get me the money owed or I will take what is mine and let’s say it might be strikingly drool-worthy in a way you won’t like. … You’re out of your league princess.” Hafner also sent another email to the same victim’s spouse, suggesting that the situation could be resolved if their lawyer issued a check for $350,000 to cover child support and higher education expenses, adding a racially slur about their children.
Four days later, another email threat followed, warning, “You won’t get anymore warnings, you will wake up to a burning house. Try me.” The indictment details several more instances of threatening communication.
As a result of his actions, federal grand jurors have charged Hafner with a total of 33 counts, including nine counts of making threatening communications in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to extort, 18 counts of making threatening communications in interstate or foreign commerce, and six counts of conveying false information concerning the use of an explosive device.
Subsequently, Hafner was apprehended in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory located in the Pacific Ocean, and subsequently transported to New Jersey by federal authorities.