A California Democrat was arrested Friday in Los Angeles for his threats to kill Trump administration FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, for his role in the Federal Communications Commission’s repealing of net neutrality regulations. The suspect threatened to kill Chairman Pai’s family, as well.
According to the prosecutor, 33-year-old Markara Man of Norwalk, California allegedly emailed messages to Chairman Pai’s three email accounts.
The first of three email messages accused Pai of being responsible for the alleged suicide by a child who was upset with the repeal of net neutrality regulations.
The second email contained the addresses of three locations in or around Arlington, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., and stated that he would kill the Chairman’s family members.
The third email had no text in it, but it did include an image depicting Chairman Pai and, in the foreground and slightly out of focus, a framed photograph of the FCC chairman and his family.
FBI agents were assigned to the case and traced the emails to Markara Man’s known residence in Norwalk, California. When the FBI agents initially confronted the suspect in May 2018, the suspect admitted to the agents that he indeed sent out email threatening Chairman Pai’s family. He attributed the motive for email threats to his anger over the repeal of the net neutrality regulations. He stated that he wished to “scare” Chairman Pai.
“Man was charged with threatening to murder a member of the immediate family of a U.S. official with the intent to intimidate or interfere with such official while engaged in the performance of official duties, or with the intent to retaliate against such official on account of the performance of official duties,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, a recent Trump appointee.
If convicted, Man faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
According to Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, “The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, the Federal Protective Service, and the Arlington County Police Department provided significant assistance in this investigation.”
“The concept of Net Neutrality lies at the heart of the Federal Communication Commission’s ongoing efforts to regulate Internet access. To its opponents, Net Neutrality is an Orwellian euphemism for regulatory overreach, couched in appealing language about the freedom of the Internet,” said technology expert John Hayward in Human Events.