A 41-year-old Toledo, Ohio, man was charged Friday in a federal case alleging he made criminal threats against U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Facebook.
According to federal authorities, suspect Timothy J. Ireland Jr., 41, announced on social media, “She ought to be shot. Can’t fire me, my employer would load the gun on behalf of me.”
The statement was brought to the eye of U.S.A. Capitol Police on July 23, and federal authorities launched an investigation. An affidavit in support of the complaint against Ireland describes how Capitol Police agent Lawrence Anyaso phoned Ireland August 2nd to ask if the post was his.
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He “stated he was terribly pleased with that post he created,” the affidavit says.
Asked if he owns a gun, the suspect said he does and carries it concealed, which might be a crime because Ireland is a felon prohibited from carrying firearms, in step with the affidavit.
Ireland was convicted in Florida in 1996 for “dealing in stolen property,” and he had active warrants, one for violating probation in that case and another for failing to appear in a marijuana possession case in Cook County, Georgia, in step with the charging document.
On Thursday, agents went to Ireland’s Toledo home, where they arrested him and executed a search warrant that turned up ammunition however no guns, they said.
The ammunition was enough to charge him with suspicion of being a felon in possession of a gun and being a fugitive in possession of a firearm, in line with the charging document.
Ocasio-Cortez has not commented on the case.
“There is completely no place in the marketplace of ideas for threats of violence against any individual, particularly those who are elected to represent the American individuals,” said Justin Herdman, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, in a statement.
“Disagreement on political problems cannot result in acts of violence, and if it does, we’ll seek federal prison time,” he said.
Federal prosecutors did not estimate a possible sentence if Ireland is condemned because it has “factors distinctive to the current case, together with the defendant’s previous criminal record,” in step with a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.