Michael Lee Tomasi, 37, of Rio Verde, Arizona, was arrested on Friday after a grand jury indicted him on three counts of threats against a federal official and three counts of making interstate threats.
According to court documents, from May 2021 through November 2023, while living in Colorado and Arizona, Tomasi used a social media platform to express a desire to incite violence and threaten a variety of individuals and groups, including elected officials, a judge, and federal officials and law enforcement officers. The charges against Tomasi relate to threats he made in Arizona to federal law enforcement agents and employees.
“The threats of violence against public officials alleged in this indictment are abhorrent,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The defendant is specifically charged with threatening to kill FBI agents and other FBI employees just for doing their jobs. I am deeply proud of the work the FBI does every day; its personnel should not have to deal with threats against themselves as they work to protect the American people. The Justice Department will not stand for such heinous behavior and will prosecute threats against its employees to the fullest extent of the law.”
“In this country, there’s a right way and a wrong way to express your views under the Constitution, and violence or threats of violence is not it,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The men and women of the FBI work tirelessly and selflessly to protect others every day, and we will continue to work with our partners to hold accountable those who make violent threats against them or any of our colleagues in law enforcement.”
“Threats against law enforcement personnel like those alleged in this indictment are not just polemics, they are illegal under federal law and corrosive to civic life and dialogue,” said U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino for the District of Arizona.
If convicted, Tomasi faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of making threats against a federal official, and a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of making interstate threats.
The FBI is investigating the case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona is handling the prosecution.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.