A Massachusetts man was arrested last week after he tweeted an offer of $500 to anyone willing to kill an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent, CBS Boston reported. Brandon Ziobrowski, 33, of Cambridge, Mass., also allegedly made violent threats against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
In a tweet on July 2, Ziobrowski wrote: “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.”
According to an ICE press release, Ziobrowski was charged with one count of use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person. He was arrested in New York and will appear in court in Boston at a later date.
Ziobrowski’s account, which he created in 2009, became “more violent and threatening” over time, according to officials. He is accused of repeatedly tweeting his desire to “slit” McCain’s throat. Around this February, as reported by the New York Post, his tweets allegedly started to promote violence against law enforcement.
“Guns should only be legal for shooting the police like the second amendment intended,” a tweet from Feb. 24 read. In March, Ziobrowski allegedly responded to a tweet from an ICE field office: “Thank you ICE for putting your lives on the line and hopefully dying I guess so there’s less of you?” By July 5, Homeland Security agents found Ziobrowski’s alleged murder-for-hire solicitation tweet and alerted law enforcement agencies; the charges were the result of a Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation.
If convicted, Ziobrowski faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
“Threats to law enforcement, no matter how they are communicated, are never taken lightly. The fact that this death threat was communicated over social media does not in any way diminish the seriousness of the threat, nor the danger posed by the individual who made it,” said Fitzhugh, the HSI Boston special agent in charge. “Not only do these threats not intimidate the men and women of the agency, they only serve to strengthen our determination in carrying out the mission that we have been solemnly sworn to uphold.”