Alexandria, VA – Federal authorities arrested a California man on Friday who threatened to kill the children of the head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the repeal of net neutrality.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a press release on June 29 that said police had taken 33-year-old Markara Man into custody for three threatening emails he sent to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in December of 2017.
Court documents said that in one email, Man accused Pai of being responsible for the death of a child who allegedly committed suicide because of the repeal of net neutrality regulations.
“Two kids have killed themselves over [the Official Action] so far. Since you’re the tiebreaker vote… * Stares hauntingly past you* * Slowly raises arm and points directly at you* Their blood is forever on your hands,” an Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) affidavit quoted, according to Time.
Another email listed three pre-schools in and around Arlington, where Pai lives with his family, and threatened to kill his children, according to Politico.
The email specifically said “I will find your children and I will kill them,” Time reported.
A third email contained no text, but showed an image of the FCC chairman and a framed photograph of his family, the DoJ release said.
The FBI began investigating shortly after Pai received the emails, and with Google’s assistance, agents tracked Man to his home in Norwalk, according to Politico.
When authorities confronted the suspect in May, Man admitted sending the emails to Pai, from the email address STUBBLEMANLINESS@GMAIL.COM. He said he thought the email address made him sound tougher, Politico reported.
Man told police he was angry about the repeal of net neutrality, and specifically furious with the FCC chairman because he believed he should have intervened. He said he wanted to scare Pai, Time reported.
"They pretty much ignored, like, 80 percent of comments ... they ignored 'us,' and just didn't care," Man said, according to the FBI affidavit.
Prosecutors charged Man with "threatening to murder a member of the immediate family of a U.S. official with the intent to intimidate or interfere with such official while engaged in the performance of official duties, or with the intent to retaliate against such official on account of the performance of official duties,” The Daily Wire reported.
The charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Politico reported that Man had given an apology note to law enforcement and asked that it be delivered to Pai.
"I'm sorry I made a threat against your kids. That was crossing the line. I hope you'll change your mind ... but I doubt it,” the note read.