Who is Eduard Florea? Proud Boys fan who threatened Raphael Warnock with 'dead men can't pass s**t laws' arrested
Federal agents confiscated over 1,000 rounds of rifle ammunition, two dozen shotgun rounds, 75 military-grade combat knives, two swords, and two hatchets from his home
Eduard Florea, a 40-year-old software engineer from Middle Village, Queens, was arrested on the afternoon of January 12, for allegedly plotting a second Capitol attack. The self-declared supporter of Proud Boys surrendered to FBI agents who showed up at his doorstep in an armored vehicle. After a thorough search of his Staten Island residence, federal agents confiscated over 1,000 rounds of rifle ammunition, two dozen shotgun rounds, 75 military-grade combat knives, two swords, and two hatchets. Florea’s arrest was carried out by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which has launched a nationwide manhunt to identify the perpetrators of the US Capitol attack from last week.
Death threats to Senator-elect Rev Raphael Warnock
Florea himself was not present at the Capitol during the time of the riots. But his posts on controversial social media platform Parler in support of the same raised eyebrows. He was hunted down by authorities after he made a threat to Georgia's Senator-elect Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Around 1 am on January 6, the day of the U.S. Capitol attack, Florea posted offensive and threatening messages on a Parler thread under the username ‘LoneWolfWar’. Replying to one user’s post reading 'F**K RAPHAEL WARNOCK LOSER', Florea commented: 'Dead men can't pass s**t laws'. The shocking comment was perceived as a direct death threat to the newly-elected Warnock.
Soon afterward, he posted a war-cry to his ‘fellow patriots’ to ‘come up with a game plan’ to dissent against the 2020 presidential election results. Following up with the 'Dead men can't pass s**t laws' statement once again, Florea wrote — ‘I will fight so help me god.'
Was Florea planning another Capitol attack?
As chaos and violence ensued in the US Capitol, Florea continued posting alarming messages from his home. Saying that "the time for peace and civility is over", he suggested his plan to head to Washington DC with armed extremists and create a massacre. "[Three] cars full of armed patriots are enroute from NY / 3 cars of armed patriots heading into DC from NY / Guns cleaned loaded . . . got a bunch of guys all armed and ready to deploy . . . we are just waiting for the word." — read his post on Parler, as reported verbatim by DailyMail.
In fact, in a previous post shared the day before, Florea allegedly wrote: "I catch one of you f*****s in DC tomorrow…. definitely slicing a throat….I f*****g promise you…" His posts were filled with obscene, offensive jibes and terrifying threats directed towards Democrats.
Florea has been a felon
Though Florea did not physically head to Washington DC at the time of the mayhem at Capitol, authorities considered his public posts suggestive of imminent violence against the residents of New York and Washington DC. In addition, Florea was already a convicted felon with his name on the police records. He was charged guilty of gun possession in 2014 and a search of his home at that time revealed a stockpile with an AR-15 assault rifle and a semiautomatic shotgun. Though bought legally, his possession of the same within the five boroughs was illegal at the time.
The father-of-two was escorted by the FBI agents who apparently arrived in a ‘military tank’, as remarked by onlookers and Florea’s lawyer as well. His neighbors were naturally frightened after finding the arsenal of ammunition and multiple laptops being seized from his possession.
In conversation with CBS2, some of Florea’s neighbors informed that his family kept a low profile and they hardly saw him, his wife, or children outside. They had been residing at the location for over four years and have never had any guests coming over.
Accused of choking his wife and threatening to kill his infant
At his interrogation, Florea revealed that he staunchly supported President Donald Trump and had also applied to join the extremist, all-male, far-right party ‘Proud Boys’. He admitted to his participation in vandalizing a church in Washington in December 2020 along with other members of the group. At the court hearing, the federal prosecutor produced a 2014 news article with a criminal complaint against Florea for choking his wife and later threatening to kill both his wife and infant daughter while holding a knife. The allegations were dismissed later.
If convicted, Florea can face up to 10 years in prison.