Markara man sent threatening emails to Ajit Pai to kill him and his family on 19 and 20 December 2017, according to US Attorney Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. It was the time when FCC repealed net neutrality rules.
The man who was arrested by the FBI in June 2018 had first accused Ajit Pai and the repeal for the death of a teenager that had committed suicide.
The emails sent to him were not containing life threats only but the specific addresses around Arlington, Virginia to make the issue sound seriously. Moreover, the last email received contained an attached image of the FCC chairman and his family.
Threatening to actually kill a federal official’s family because of a disagreement over policy is not only inexcusable, it is criminal.
All the emails were directed to the FBI and an investigation was launched after that. The address mentioned in threatening emails led FBI to Norwalk, California. The sender admitted to FBI agents that he used this email address [email protected] to send emails so that he would sound genuine and strict to him but his intention was to scare Ajit Pai and his family and not to hurt them.
Although, this defense of intending not to hurt the FCC chairman was a weak thing, to begin with. Special agents say that after they contacted him at his home, he proceeded to factory reset his phone to erase the evidence of sending emails. When confronted about the resetting he lied to the agents that he had bought this device a month ago but hasn’t set it up.
The United States Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger said that
Threatening to actually kill a federal official’s family because of a disagreement over policy is not only inexcusable, it is criminal. This prosecution shows not only that we take criminal threats seriously, but also that online threats of violence have real-world consequences.
The man sentenced` to jail for more than 18 months after he found guilty on this matter.