Man Acquitted By Judge for Offering $500 to Kill ICE Agent
Brandon Ziobrowski, 35, was arrested after tweeting in 2018
A New York man who offered $500 to anyone who would kill a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent (ICE) was acquitted in Boston on Friday.
Brandon Ziobrowski, 35, was arrested after tweeting in 2018 :
"I am broke, but I will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ice agent."
Ziobrowski was charged with the use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person.
He faced up five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
After the federal jury announced the decision Friday, Ziobrowski said:
“It seemed like the right verdict."
“It’s been a horrible year. I’m glad it’s over," he said, according to NBC news.
Ziobrowski’s attorney, Derege Demissie, said the case “should never have gone this far,” saying, “The government turned a tweet that was made in jest – a hyperbolic political statement – into a federal case.”
Demissie argued his client's comments were constitutionally protected speech.
He added that Ziobrowski’s comments were blown “out of proportion" by federal prosecutors.
“This is a guy who tweets about all kinds of things and said outrageous things,” he said, NBC News reported.
A #GeorgeSoros funded open borders lobbying group said, “we need to abolish” the Immigration and Customs Enforcement #ICE agency to protect foreign nationals accused of #visafraud.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) November 30, 2019
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In a Friday statement, Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said he respects the findings of the jury:
"But in this case, the defendant posted a tweet that, on its face, offered $500 to anyone who killed a federal agent," Lelling said.
"In 2019, over 100 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty."
"The public needs to know that, regardless of today's verdict, we will never hesitate to prosecute apparent threats against law enforcement officers."
Ziobrowski had previously tweeted his desire to “slit” the late Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) throat, according to the original indictment.
In 2008, he began tweeting threats against law enforcement:
“Guns should only be legal for shooting the police like the second amendment intended.”