Daniel Willard used a $10 TracFone from Wal-Mart to send out illegal ‘robo-calls’ attacking South Dakota Republican Party leadership according to an affidavit filed in Lake County Tuesday.
The 31-year-old Sioux Falls man is charged with four misdemeanor counts for violating election laws by not providing the proper identification for the group that sponsored the pre-recorded messages.
According to the affidavit Bryan Gortmaker, the director of the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, subpoenaed Verizon Wireless phone records that traced the calls to a TracFone that was purchased at the Arrowhead Parkway Wal-Mart just after 10:30 p.m. on September 11, the night before the alleged illegal calls went out.
Willard was tracked down after Gortmaker was able to obtain the number of the credit card that purchased the phone. An IP address was also obtained from the registration of the phone. Both pieces of information led investigators to Willard.
According to the affidavit Gortmaker interviewed Willard with his attorney on November 16 and asked him if he made the recordings and Willard said ‘he did not.’
Willard was charged Tuesday in Lake County for sending out the calls that attacked Senator Russell Olson, Representative Brian Gosch and Representative David Lust between September 12 and September 17.
The maximum penalty for each count is up to one year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.
The charges are being filed in Lake County because that is where Senator Russell Olson received and reported the calls.
We’ll have more on this case later today on KELOLAND.com and KELOLAND News.
Read the affidavit by clicking on the link below: