Will Racke, DCNF
A Massachusetts man has been arrested for tweeting out an offer to pay $500 to anyone who would kill an immigration agent, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Brandon Ziobrowski, 33, was arrested in connection with a tweet he sent in July, in which he told his 448 followers that “I am broke but will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ICE agent,” using the acronym for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Ziobrowski, of Cambridge, Mass., is charged with using interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person. Prosecutors say the arrest serves as a message that they will aggressively investigate threats against immigration agents.
“The agents and officers out there enforcing federal laws are doing their job, plain and simple,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters, according to the Associated Press. “Those who disagree with their mission are of course free to say so. But there is a difference between public debate and intentionally putting others in fear of their lives.”
Federal officials say Ziobrowski began tweeting threatening messages against ICE agents in March, reports Fox News. In one instance, he responded to a tweet about ICE agents risking their lives by replying, “Thank you ICE for putting your lives on the line and hopefully dying I guess so there’s less of you?”
He also professed support for “socialist” and “communist” ideology and repeatedly expressed a desire to slit the throat of Republican Sen. John McCain, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Harold Shaw.
Ziobrowski was arrested in New York, where he was visiting a friend. He is set to make a court appearance there before being transported to Massachusetts.
Prosecutors are still looking into whether anyone reached out to Ziobrowski about his offer. The solicitation received two likes on Twitter, Zelling said.
Twitter suspended Ziobrowski’s account after learning about the threat against ICE agents, the AP reported, citing court documents.
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