CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A 34-year-old Waterloo man who sent threatening tweets to U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst has been sentenced to six years in federal prison.
Federal prosecutors said Joseph Hilton Dierks was sentenced Wednesday in Cedar Rapids’ federal courthouse. At the sentencing, a judge noted Dierks’ criminal history, which included a prior conviction for harassing a Waterloo police officer and carrying weapons.
Prosecutors had said Dierks sent Ernst several threatening tweets in August, one which suggested he would shoot her and included a link to a 2010 movie in which a man shoots a woman in the head and kills her.
U.S. Capitol Police contacted the Waterloo police, and officers sent to Dierks’ home said he promised to “tone it down.” Within 24 hours he was sending more threatening tweets to Ernst.