Maryland Man Arrested, Faces Jail for Allegedly Threatening Fauci
12:07 GMT 28.07.2021 (Updated: 13:21 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Graeme JenningsDr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington
© AP Photo / Graeme Jennings
The charges brought against Connally may net him up to 10 years in a federal prison for threats against a federal official, as well as up to five years in federal prison for interstate communication containing a threat to harm, if he is convicted.
A 56-year-old man from Maryland named Thomas Patrick Connally Jr. got arrested for allegedly sending threatening emails to US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health.
According to a press release from the Maryland US Attorney’s Office, the federal criminal complaint that was filed against Connally on 26 July and unsealed the following day upon his arrest, charges him with "the federal charges of threats against a federal official and interstate communication containing a threat to harm."
"We will never tolerate violent threats against public officials," said Jonathan Lenzner, Acting US Attorney for the District of Maryland. "Our public health officials deserve our thanks and appreciation for their tireless work, and we will not hesitate to bring charges against those individuals who seek to use fear to silence these public servants."
An affidavit that was filed in support of the complaint in question alleges that Connally used an encrypted email account from a Swiss-based service provider from 28 December 2020 to 21 July 2021 to send a series of emails to Fauci, "threatening to harm and/or kill him and members of his family."
On 24 April alone, Connally allegedly sent seven threatening emails to Fauci; that same day, Dr. Francis Collins also "received a total of four threatening emails from the same encrypted email address associated with Connally."
The affidavit also alleges that Connally used a mail.com account to "communicate with another individual discussing Dr. Fauci and espousing views that Dr. Fauci was engaged in fraud regarding HIV and AIDS", with that subject apparently being "one of the one of the topics of the first threatening email" that was sent to Fauci on 28 December from the aforementioned encrypted account.
If convicted, Connally may face up to 10 years in federal prison for threats against a federal official, and up to five years in federal prison for interstate communication containing a threat to harm, the press release states.