CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - A Cambridge man accused of offering cash for dead ICE agents is now facing a federal charge, authorities announced Thursday.
Brandon J. Ziobrowski, 33, has been charged in an indictment unsealed Thursday with one count of use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling announced at a press conference in Boston.
On July 2, Ziobrowski allegedly tweeted to his 488 Twitter followers, “I am broke but 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.”
Investigators nabbed Ziobrowski just after 7 a.m. in Queens, New York, where he was visiting a friend. He faced a federal judge in New York City Thursday and was released on $50,000 bond. He will also be equipped with GPS monitoring until he surrenders his passport.
Prior to the alarming tweet, Ziobrowski responded to a tweet from the ICE Field Office that asserted that agents put their “lives on the line to arrest criminal aliens,” by saying, “Thank you ICE for putting your lives on the line and hopefully dying I guess so there’s less of you.”
Ziobrowski is also accused of sending other threatening tweets, including his desire to “slit” U.S. Sen. John McCain’s throat and claiming that “Guns should only be legal for shooting the police like the second amendment intended.”
Officials noted that Ziobrowski’s “communist, socialist and anarchist” tweets grew more violent and threatening as time passed. At one point, Lelling said the suspect tweeted “shooting a cop should get you a medal.”
Ziobrowski does not have a criminal background and investigators said they are not aware of anyone who may have reached out regarding the murder-for-hire tweet. His Twitter account was suspended after he was flagged by an analyst at the Department of Homeland Security.
“He appears to be just some guy living in Cambridge who feels strongly on this subject,” Lelling said. “Feeling strongly on this subject is fine. Putting people’s lives in danger is not fine.”
The charge of use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure a person carries a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, according to Lelling’s Office.
Ziobrowski will be returned to Boston, where he is slated to appear in court on Aug. 15.
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