A New Yorker pleaded guilty on Monday to threatening Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) online the day Democrats regained control of both branches of Congress.
Eduard Florea, 41, also pleaded guilty to illegally possessing ammunition that the FBI found in his Queens County home on Jan. 7.
The evening before the Jan. siege of the U.S. Capitol, a user logged onto a social media platform popular with the far-right under the handle “LoneWolfWar” and began fantasizing about slitting a throat. The user especially seethed about Sen. Warnock’s election as Georgia’s first Black senator, who along with fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff tipped Senate control to the Democrats. The account posted a flood of bile, vulgarity and death threats, prosecutors say.
“We need to all come to an agreement… and go armed… and really take back Washington,” the Parler user wrote on Jan. 5 around 8:40 p.m. Eastern Time.
A few minutes later, the user added: “Tomorrow may very be the day war kicks off.”
“Warnok [sic] is going to have a hard time casting votes for communist policies when he’s swinging with the fucking fish,” Florea allegedly wrote at 11:53 p.m. that night.
Although the Associated Press would not officially call the race until the next day, Warnock’s victory appeared all but certain when Florea wrote shortly after midnight: “Dead men can’t pass shit laws.”
As thousands stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6th, Florea posted the exact same sentence toward the end of another tirade, according to court papers.
“Let’s go…I will be reaching out to patriots in my area so we can come up with a game plan… Here in New York we are target rich. . . . but there is only one that comes to my mind that is the starting point. Not sure where you are… but I would imagine you have one in mind too. Dead men can’t pass shit laws…. I will fight so help me god,” Florea is recorded writing.
Prosecutors say that Florea posted another series of bloodthirsty messages while the Capitol was under siege, declaring “peace time is over” and writing that he was among “3 cars full of armed patriots are enroute [sic] from NY.”
“Fucking kill them all…. And anyone who stands in the way,” Florea is said to have written.
His wife later told the FBI that Florea intended to go to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6th, but his ride did not pick him up, according to prosecutors.
“In the days following the Capitol attack, the defendant physically attacked his wife because she refused to help him raise money for the Proud Boys,” prosecutors wrote in Florea’s detention memo. “Specifically, the defendant wanted to raise money for the Proud Boys using a joint business account that he shared with his wife.”
Because of the wife’s refusal to support the Proud Boys, Florea allegedly choked her, took out one of his combat knives and asked: “what makes you think I won’t fucking kill you?”
In late June, that memo was one of the reasons U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom denied Florea’s motion for pre-trial release, citing his “threat” to the community.
Though Florea faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, his sentencing guidelines range has been calculated between 1.5 and two years of incarceration.
Read the plea agreement below:
(Image via JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
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