A Trump supporter in Pennsylvania threatened to shoot up a local Democratic Party office, boasted to party officials that it would be hard to catch him, and then was arrested this week after apparently following through on this threat, according to a federal criminal complaint.
On January 6, the day of the pro-Trump insurrection at the US Capitol, Anthony Francis Nero, 48, logged onto Facebook and sent a message to an unknown recipient stating that he would “go find a local Democrat Office and shoot it up. LOL,” federal authorities allege in the March 2 complaint.
A day later, he pulled up the website for the Montgomery County Democratic Party and sent a message through their web form, federal authorities said. “With this stolen election and Coup d’etat, violence is the only language you bloodsuckers understand,” he wrote, according to the complaint. “TRUMP YOU!! You fucking traitors. Random acts of violence are difficult to investigate. Have fun.”
Less than two weeks later, on the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, three shots were fired through the window of the Democratic Party’s office in Norristown, appearing to have come from a .45 caliber handgun. Two bullets struck a desk inside.
Nero was taken into federal custody on Wednesday and taken to a detention center, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. According to investigators, he did not cloak his location while using his Verizon cell phone, allowing investigators to trace him.
An FBI special agent, executing a search warrant last month, also claims Nero did not delete his web history, which resulted in it auto-completing the fake email address he used to threaten local Democrats: “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Firefox also auto-completed the address of the Norristown Democratic headquarters.
Bullet holes in the front windows of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee Office in Norristown. Officials say the discovery was made yesterday afternoon. No one was inside when the shots were fired. @KYWNewsradio pic.twitter.com/aFkzTzaCfU
— Tim Jimenez (@TimJRadio) January 21, 2021
When local police served Nero search warrants, he also informed them that he had a .45 caliber handgun in the trunk of his Lexus. It was loaded, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, which in February charged Nero with terrorism, terroristic threats, carrying a firearm without a license, and reckless endangerment.
In a surprise to the accused, the federal government took over the case on Wednesday. Nero is due to appear in federal court on Friday for a detention hearing.
The man became a suspect, according to the FBI, after a confidential source tipped off law enforcement that he had been threatening local Democratic officials.
Nero’s criminal defense attorney did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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