Grant County Democratic Zoom meeting hacked, FBI investigates

Politics - Government

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The FBI is investigating hackers who took over an online meeting with top state officials in Grant County. The group sent racist messages, threatened lives, and exposed themselves.

A couple of days ago, the Grant County Democratic Party was hosting their monthly open Zoom meeting with prominent elected officials, like Lt. Gov. Howie Morales, U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Lujan and Xochil Torres-Small with other locals around southwest New Mexico.

Their meeting was business as usual until something unusual happened. “I could hear music, I could hear lots of people talking,” said Matt Runnels, Grant County Democratic Party Chair.

Runnels says four or five people hacked their meeting and took it over. The administrators were able to end the meeting, the hackers then started harassing people on the call including elected officials.

KRQE News 13 was told that some comments were transphobic and the state’s Democratic Party says some of the hecklers threatened the lives of participants. When police showed up, that’s when things got even uglier. “A young man said ‘oh you called the police?’ and turned around and mooned them and then turned around and started masturbating at him,” said Runnels.

Runnels says the harassment lasted for an hour. “I believed they trolled us when they found out about the meeting and made a concerted effort to cause hate and discontent,” said Runnels.

A police report was filed and the FBI is looking into the incident.

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