Just three days after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, a man dialed up the office of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and threatened to kill him, prosecutors allege in a recently unsealed indictment.
“Tell [M.G.] to watch his back, tell him to watch his children,” defendant Eugene Huelsman told Gaetz’s office on Jan. 9, according to the two-page indictment shielding the lawmaker’s name as “M.G.” “I’m coming for him, he’s gonna fucking die… I’m gonna fucking kill him… Watch your back, I’m coming for you. I’m gonna put a bullet in you and I’m gonna put a bullet in one of your fucking kids too.”
Federal prosecutors filed the indictment under seal on May 18, securing an arrest warrant that day—but authorities could not immediately locate their suspect, court records indicate.
“The current whereabouts of the defendant are unknown and the public revelation of the indictment could severely hamper law enforcement’s ability to locate and apprehend the defendant to answer the charges,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Goldberg wrote in the original sealing order.
Months passed, and the docket remained quiet.
Then, days after Gaetz complained on the floor of the House of Representatives that authorities were not being aggressive enough about threats against him, there was an apparent breakthrough in the case.
The grand jury’s indictment was unsealed on Friday, Oct. 22, after prosecutors told U.S. Magistrate Judge Hope Cannon that Huelsman had been arrested in the Central District of California.
Huelsman has been charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce to injure another, a statute that carries a possible five-year maximum penalty.
He does not currently have a defense attorney listed on the federal court docket, and he has an initial appearance slated for Oct. 29.
A staunch Donald Trump loyalist, Gaetz has been the reported subject of a longstanding Justice Department investigation into whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid her to travel with him. His oft-described “wingman” Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and is cooperating with prosecutors. Gaetz denied wrongdoing and attempted to connect the allegations to an extortion plot. Prosecutors charged another man, Stephen Alford, with a plot to shake down the congressman.
Read the indictment, below:
This is a developing story.
[Image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images]
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