ATLANTA — A man identified as a supporter of the Proud Boys, has been arrested at his home in Queens, New York following last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol, and among the charges against him are apparent death threats he made towards one of Georgia’s newly elected U.S. Senators.
Eduard Florea, 40, was charged with possessing ammunition as a convicted felon and denied bail after the FBI searched his home and interviewed him about a series of threats about the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol they said he made on the social network Parler.
Investigators said Florea threatened to deploy “three cars full of armed patriots” to Washington last week and was charged Wednesday with stockpiling military-style combat knives and more than 1,000 rifle rounds in his New York home.
Prosecutors said the software engineer vowed to travel to the nation’s capital and slice “a throat” at the Jan. 6 riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. Another post attributed to Florea threatened the life of U.S. Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock of Georgia, authorities confirmed to the Associated Press.
- Here’s how Georgia’s representatives voted on President Trump’s impeachment
- President Trump impeached a second time
- Gwinnett schools move to all virtual learning for next week over rise in COVID-19 cases
Warnock and now- Senator-elect Jon Ossoff beat incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in a runoff election on Jan. 5.
The wins will now turn control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats once the two take office at the end of the month.
“The time for peace and civility is over,” Florea wrote, according to a criminal complaint. “I will be reaching out to patriots in my area so we can come up with a game plan.”
Florea’s defense attorney dismissed the online posts as “blather” and noted that Florea had no guns in his home. She said federal authorities “came to his home in a military tank” to arrest him.
“He is not charged with any action whatsoever in connection with the despicable acts that happened at the Capitol,” federal public defender Mia Eisner-Grynberg told the AP. “Mr. Florea does not condone that behavior.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Navarro said Florea posed a flight risk and is “particularly dangerous in the current political environment.”
He said Florea applied to join the Proud Boys, a far-right group, but was not yet a member because he had not attended the requisite number of meetings. He said Florea traveled to Washington in December and was with the group when it vandalized a church.
“This is not just rhetoric,” Navarro said. “This is rhetoric backed by action.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara ordered Florea held without bail, saying the evidence suggested “a premediated plan to exact violence against people in New York and people in Washington.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Cox Media Group