PHOENIX— Joseph Eschief (D.O.B. 09-13-1981) was sentenced recently to seven years in the Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to two counts of Threatening and Intimidating and one count of Participating in a Criminal Street Gang.
“This sentencing marks the first case in Arizona against a gang member who used social media to threaten law enforcement,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “The actions of this defendant are well outside of the protections offered by the 1st Amendment and he was held accountable for his criminal threats.”
From the beginning of April 2017 until the middle of July 2017 the defendant, who is a documented gang member, posted messages on social media directing other gang members to start committing acts of violence. Posts also included videos showing photographs of police department members that were intended to intimidate, threaten and incites acts of violence specifically towards Salt River Police officers.
The defendant’s actions were identified through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Trails Task Force, which allows federal, local and tribal agencies to combine limited resources and increase investigative coordination to combat drug trafficking, violent crime, and to fight corruption. Members of the task force include: FBI, Mesa Police Department, Salt River Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations.