Jeffrey Mindock, 50, allegedly sent an email on Nov. 3 to a rabbi at an unnamed synagogue in Scottsdale demanding that the religious leader convince a Utah judge to drop charges in another criminal case against him.
“As I have watched the atrocities unfolding in Palestine, I have come to the realization that YOU people are to blame for everything evil in this world," Mindock said in the email, according to a probable cause statement filed in federal court. "Zionist Jews control everything from the courts to the banks to the media. We both know that you are in control.”
“If you do not use your influence to right this wrong, I will execute you and every other JEW I can find tonight at midnight of your Sabbath,” the email continued.
Mindock reportedly signed the communication with the alias “Vikot Sitkevicz” and a Tempe address where the rabbi could meet him in person. The address, which matched the one he had listed in his motor vehicle records, was used by authorities to confirm Mindock's identity.
Mindock now faces a federal charge of transmitting a threat to injure and kill in interstate commerce. Mindock was scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 9, but his detention hearing has been moved to Dec. 8. He will remain in custody until then.
A concerning pattern
Mindock’s latest threatening email is just one in a long pattern of alleged harassment.
An Aug. 16 report from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office alleged that Mindock sent an email to the same judge — Judge Jay T. Winward of the Fifth District Court in Utah — that said, “Race TRAITOR 'Judge' Jay T. Winward will die.”
“He will hang from the gallows … if you would like to discuss alternatives to your death, you can contact me in writing,” the email continued.
Mindock is facing several charges in Utah, including retaliation against a judge and electronic communication harassment for threatening to execute Winward, according to Utah’s ABC4.
In November 2021, Mindock was arrested by the Tempe Police Department for threatening another judge during a court appearance for an email communication in 2020. It is not clear at this time who the 2020 email was addressed to.
According to court records, Mindock “indicated that he had enough guns, ammunition and explosives to kill 10 swat teams.” Mindock also listed domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski as a personal hero.
‘No tolerance’Gary Restaino, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, said threatening faith leaders is unacceptable.
"We have no tolerance for those who send threatening communications to Jewish faith leaders or to any other people in America," Restaino said in a statement. "We will continue to exercise our prosecutorial discretion and deploy our resources to charge threats cases here in Arizona.”
A spokesperson with the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors and fights antisemitism and other forms of bias, commended the FBI's swift action in this case.
"That's exactly what we hope to see when there are threats made," Sarah Kader, ADL Arizona community manager, told Phoenix New Times. "They were able to intervene before something terrible happened."
She added that antisemitism is becoming more prevalent in the wake of the Hamas-Israel war.
"We're seeing a steep rise in antisemitism and antisemitic threats and violence in the United States and across the globe," she said. "We track the incidents that are occurring here in the U.S. and we have seen a nearly 400% increase in antisemitic incidents in the United States since Oct. 7, and that's over the same time period last year."
Although Kader hasn't heard reports of Jewish people being attacked in Arizona, she said Mindock's threatening behavior hits close to home.
"It also makes me even more committed to ADL and our work of fighting antisemitism because, as we say, never again is now," Kader said. "We cannot allow this type of action and language to fester and continue on. We have to fight it."
Additional reporting by O'Hara Shipe.