Federal authorities have charged a Massachusetts man for allegedly tweeting a murder-for-hire solicitation to kill Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for $500.
“The agents and officers out there enforcing federal laws are doing their job, plain and simple. 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,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said during a news conference Thursday.
Brandon J. Ziobrowski of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been accused of using interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat or injure another person, according to a news release.
What’s the story?
The 33-year-old Ziobrowski reportedly created a Twitter account using the handle @Vine_II in March 2009.
Authorities said Ziobrowski’s tweets became increasingly violent over time and included his repeated desire to “slit” Arizona Sen. John McCain’s throat.
“Guns should only be legal for shooting the police like the second amendment intended,” he wrote in a tweet Feb. 24, WBZ-TV reported.
“F*** this police state shooting a cop should get you a medal,” Ziobrowski allegedly wrote online, according to the Washington Post.
In July, Ziobrowski reportedly tweeted the solicitation to kill ICE agents, which received two “likes.”
“I am broke but I will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ice agent. @me seriously who else can pledge get in on this let’s make this work,” Ziobrowski allegedly wrote.
— Beth Germano (@BethWBZ) August 9, 2018
The Department of Homeland Security found the tweets while searching the internet for threats of terrorism, according to court documents.
Twitter has removed the tweets and suspended his account, according to The Post.
Ziobrowski, who was taken into custody in New York, was released on $50,000 bond Thursday. He’s expected back in court Aug. 15. If he’s found guilty, he could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.