A Maryland man pleaded guilty Thursday to making death threats against Sen. Ted Cruz, the Department of Justice has announced.
Although the department in its announcement does not identify the lawmaker threatened, referring only to “Member of Congress 1,” the lawmaker is the Texas Republican, according to CNN.
On July 18, Annapolis resident Justin Kuchta filled out an email form on an event planning website being used to coordinate a Missouri event attended by Mr. Cruz.
Kuchta wrote: “Thank you for the address!!! I’m coming to murder all of you Satanist f***ers!!! Especially the chuckle-f**k Zodiak Killer [Member of Congress 1]!! That fat fake f***er ass will be the first on the gallows!! SEE ALL OF YOU F***ERS REALLY SOON!!! With my fresh militia and weapons!!! Thanks for the info f***ers!!!,” the Justice Department said.
A similar message was sent using the same website four days later.
The email refers to a nonsensical claim and internet meme that identifies Mr. Cruz as the never-caught Zodiac Killer, who committed his crimes in Northern California in the 1960s. Mr. Cruz was born in 1970.
Investigators traced the messages to a virtual private network and IP address operated by the Maryland government. From there, they determined the message was sent from a computer Kuchta used for his work in the Maryland Office of the Comptroller, according to the Daily Record newspaper.
Kuchta faces up to five years in prison for interstate communication containing a threat to injure. Sentencing is scheduled for April 27.
“You have the right to your own opinions, but not the right to threaten a federal official’s life. We’ll continue prosecuting these threats to the fullest extent of the law,” said Erek L. Barron, U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland.