Proud Boys Member Allegedly Threatened To Kill Black Senator-Elect On Parler
Proud Boys member Eduard Florea has been arrested by the FBI after allegedly using social media platform Parler to threaten the life of Georgia Senator-elect Raphael Warnock.
Authorities said Florea, who has reportedly previously described himself as a member of the far-right, white nationalist Proud Boys, also used his Parler account to discuss travelling to the US Capitol to cause violence. The 40-year-old was arrested by the FBI at his home in Queens, New York, on Tuesday night, January 12.
During the arrest authorities said they found 1,000 rounds of rifle ammunition, 2,000 rounds of shotgun ammo, 75 ‘military-style’ combat knives, two hatchets and two swords, despite Florea having a previous conviction for a firearms-related felony which prevents him from possessing ammunition.
According to a criminal complaint cited by Buzzfeed News, Florea allegedly ran an account on Parler with the handle LoneWolfWar. On the day Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, January 6, he used the account to respond to another user who had written ‘F*CK RAPHAEL WARNOCK LOSER’ by writing: ‘Dead man can’t pass sh*t laws.’
The post came after Warnock won the Georgia Senate runoff election to unseat Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
Later the same day, Florea allegedly wrote: ‘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 … Dead men can’t pass sh*t laws … I will fight so help me god.’
He followed up with several posts referring to armed men travelling to Washington DC from New York, reportedly writing: ‘The time for peace and civility is over,’ and ‘It’s time to unleash some violence.’
Florea is said to have admitted to owning the Parler account and the ammunition during an interview with investigators.
Though the 40-year-old was not part of the riot at the Capitol, the FBI noted in his criminal complaint that Parler had been used to plan the insurrection. The complaint stated: ‘Members of the group coordinated their activities using social media platforms, including Parler.’
A Brooklyn federal court judge said Florea’s posts reflect ‘a premeditated plan to exact violence against people in New York and people in Washington against United States senators,’ CBS New York reports.
Following his arrest, Florea appeared in Brooklyn Federal Court where he was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition. If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison.
Commenting on the case, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said: ‘For those of you out there with similar intentions, heed this warning — knock it off, or expect to see us at your door.’
Both Apple and Google have removed Parler from their app stores in the wake of the riot. Florea’s account on the platform has been shut down following his arrest.
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