A federal judge has cleared a New York man who offered a $500 bounty to anyone willing to kill an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer.
A jury in Boston acquitted Brandon Ziobrowski, 35, of charges that he used interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat, according to Fox News. He faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
“It seemed like the right verdict,” Ziobrowski said after the ruling Friday. “It’s been a horrible year. I’m glad it’s over.”
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, who prosecuted the case, said he respected the jury’s decision but expressed frustration at the outcome of the case.
“We respect the jury’s verdict. But in this case the defendant posted a tweet that, on its face, offered $500 to anyone who killed a federal agent,” Lelling said in a statement. “In 2019, over 100 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty. The public needs to know that, regardless of today’s verdict, we will never hesitate to prosecute apparent threats against law enforcement officers.”
Ziobrowski posted the bounty offer on Twitter to his account of 400 followers in July 2018.
“I am broke but will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ice agent,” Ziobrowski wrote. “@me seriously who else can pledge get in on this let’s make this work.”
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