Brandon J. Ziobrowski, a 33-year-old resident of Massachusetts, took to Twitter to vent out his frustrations with the current immigration situation, but he found out the hard way that expressing your anger online isn’t always the best course of action.
According to reports, Ziobrowski tweeted out an inflammatory message in July. He stated, “I am broke, but I will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ICE agent.” His message was followed up with, “@me seriously, who else can pledge? Get in on this; let’s make this work.” Two of his followers liked his threatening tweet, but it’s unclear whether anyone seriously took him up on his offer.
When the messages were reported, Twitter quickly removed the threatening messages and suspended his social media account. ICE representatives made it clear that such threats are unacceptable and are not protected by free speech.
Ziobrowski was arrested on August 9th and charged with using interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat of injury against another person. This charge is a federal felony. After reviewing the suspect’s past social media message, a pattern of irrational calls for violence became apparent. Previous messages on his account threaten police officers, express the belief that shooting police officers should earn an individual a medal and threaten to slit Senator John McCain’s throat.
The suspect was released from jail later on the same day on a $50,000 bond. If convicted on his charges, then he may face up to five years in prison. He is due back in court on August 15.