US prosecutors claim that the man was charged with sending death threats to Dr. Anthony Fauci
The federal prosecutor of Maryland announced on Tuesday that a man had been arrested for sending an email threatening to injure and kill Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, Dr. Francis Collins, the president of the National Institutes of Health, and his family. Sued by the Federal Court.
The criminal lawsuit filed on Monday accused 56-year-old Thomas Patrick Connally Jr. of threatening federal officials and interstate communications, including threats of harm.
According to an affidavit submitted with the complaint, from December to last week, Connery used an encrypted email service based in Switzerland to send a series of emails to Collins and Fauci.
Fauci is the chief medical advisor to US President Joe Biden and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland.
He was appointed to this position in 1984, but his popularity increased during the coronavirus pandemic. He has been a staunch supporter of vaccines and other preventive measures against COVID-19 and has been praised for his leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
An email threatened that Fauci and his family would “be dragged into the street, beaten to death, and then set on fire.”
The defendant is expected to appear in court on Wednesday
According to the affidavit, on April 24, Collins received four emails from an encrypted address associated with Connery. 30 minutes later, Fauci received a series of seven threatening emails, only a few minutes apart.
One of the emails threatened that Fauci would be “hunted, captured, tortured and killed.”
After Connery was arrested, the complaint was opened on Tuesday. Marcia Murphy, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said he was arrested in West Virginia. It is unclear where he lives.
Connery is scheduled to appear in Greenbelt District Court for the first time on Wednesday. His lawyer is not listed in online court records.
“We will never tolerate threats of violence against public officials,” acting U.S. attorney Jonathan Lenzner said at a press conference.
“Our public health officials deserve our gratitude and appreciation for their tireless efforts, and we will not hesitate to bring charges against those who try to use fear to silence these civil servants.”
If convicted, Connery faces up to 10 years in federal prison for threats to federal officials, and up to 5 years in federal prison for threats of harm in interstate communications.