Man arrested after offering $500 'to anyone who kills an ICE agent' amid rising tide of threats
Ziobrowski is charged with using interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person after offering to pay $500 to anyone willing to kill an ICE agent
A social media post offering to pay $500 to anyone who is willing to kill an ICE agent led to the arrest of the Massachusetts man. 33-year-old Brandon Ziobrowski took to Twitter last month announcing to his followers that he is "broke but will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ICE agent."
According to court documents, when a critic tweeted about ICE agents putting their "lives on the line" to make arrests, he responded by saying: "Thank you, ICE, for putting your lives on the line and hopefully dying, I guess, so there's less of you?"
However, authorities hoped that, with Ziobrowski's arrest, they sent a loud and clear message that they will not tolerate the "rising tide" of threats against border and immigration agents "under the guise of political debate".
Meet Brandon Ziobrowski, the 33 y.o. Cambridge resident charged with making an interstate threat.— Howie Carr (@HowieCarrShow) August 9, 2018
He wanted to "slit" John McCain's throat, offered $500 to anyone who would murder an ICE agent. https://t.co/f76yNHTw5G pic.twitter.com/47qDj00Oea
On Thursday, US Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters, "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," he said.
The 33-year-old miscreant is charged with "using interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person."
Authorities said Ziobrowski was arrested while visiting a friend in New York. On Thursday, he is scheduled to make a court appearance in the city before being shipped back to his hometown.
That said, it is yet to be confirmed if he has a lawyer, after his contact details couldn't be traced in publicly available directories.
Court documents indicated that Twitter suspended his account after it was informed about the threat to ICE officers, reported Daily Mail.
Peter Fitzhugh, a special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, said, "People who try to politicize our mission are within the legal right to freedom of speech."
"But when freedom of speech crosses a line into threats or offers to have federal law enforcement officers killed, we will never tolerate that," he added.
According to FBI special agent Harold H Shaw, investigators found the offender's Twitter account to contain multiple instances of "extreme anti-US sentiments along with violent rhetoric regarding guns and numerous references to extreme communist, socialist and anarchist views."
According to prosecutors, Ziobrowski had also previously tweeted about his "desire" to kill Arizona Sen. John McCain, while saying that guns "should only be legal for shooting the police like the second amendment intended."
"We look to hold those accountable who are behind any threats of violence including those who try to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet," Shaw said.