Man charged with threatening to kill FCC chairman’s family over net neutrality
A man was arrested in Los Angeles on Friday on charges of threatening to murder the family of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, according to the Justice Department.
The department alleged in a news release that 33-year-old Markara Man threatened the FCC chairman’s family because he was “angry” about the repeal of net neutrality regulations and hoped to “scare” the chairman.
In court documents filed with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, a police officer with the Arlington County Police Department said there is probable cause to believe that Man sent a series of emails sometime around December 20, 2017, to accounts that belong to Pai, who is referred to in the documents as “Federal Official 1.”
One of the emails allegedly included the threat: “I will find your children and I will kill them.”
The FCC voted on December 14, 2017, to approve a plan to repeal net neutrality protections.
President Donald Trump tapped Pai to serve as chairman of the FCC in January 2017.
The Justice Department said in its release that the FBI was able to trace the messages to Man’s residence and that Man later admitted he sent the threat because of anger over the regulatory repeal.
According to court documents, Man agreed to an interview with federal law enforcement officers who were executing a search warrant in May 2018 at his residence and said during the interview that he was “angry and frustrated” and “not really thinking” when he decided to send the messages.
Contact information for Man’s attorney was not immediately available. The FCC did not immediately return a request for comment.