Hartford Man Charged with Making Threats to West Haven VA Facility, Members of Congress, Other Federal Employees
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut today announced that AUBREY WAYNE ROSE, JR., 43, of Hartford, was arrested yesterday on a federal criminal complaint charging him with making threats against the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in West Haven, certain U.S. members of Congress, and other federal employees.
Rose appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas O. Farrish in Hartford and was detained until a hearing scheduled for January 8.
As alleged in court documents, on March 7, 2023, Rose sent a threatening email to the Defense Finance Accounting Service, which is the U.S. Department of Defense agency that, among other things, maintains and pays military retirees their monthly retirement and disability benefits and Combat Related Special Compensation. He also sent the email to the offices of four members of the United States Congress. In the email, he asked for a formal appeal of his military pay and stated, “If not[,] the 2d Amendment is in our Constitution for a reason. . . . ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. I PICKED UP A RIFLE TO PROTECT THIS COUNTRY BEFORE. I WILL MAKE SURE I PICK IT UP FOR MYSELF. IM TIRED OF GAMES YALL CAN FIX IT OR NOT. MY DECISION HAS BEEN MADE[.]”
In addition, according to court documents, on the morning of December 20, 2023, Rose entered the VA Medical Facility in West Haven wearing a tactical vest and carrying a bullhorn. As VA police officers followed him, he stated, “Next time I come back, I’m bringing a weapon.” Later that morning, Rose went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Haven office and told an agent that if he did not get assistance from the VA, he would have “to go back to the VA with a firearm.”
Court documents also describe other instances of threatening behavior. On May 30, 2023, Rose sent an email to several individuals, including an employee of the Connecticut Superior Court. The email contained a draft of another email he was planning to send to an unnamed member of Congress stating, “Your continued refusal to acknowledge fact and ignore me will leave me with no other choice but use my 2nd Amend Rights to force this GOVT to do the right thing. . . . Your continued non compliance will only solidify my decision and force me to act with the only decision that yourself and other govt agencies have left. To force you comply or be killed in the process.” Then on June 5, 2023, Rose attempted to gain access to the Connecticut office of a Member of the United States Congress. He was wearing a tactical vest on his chest and what appeared to be two knives strapped to the back of the tactical vest. Office staff was able lock the door before he entered. He returned later that afternoon, stood outside the office, and yelled through the intercom in a threatening manner.
The complaint charges Rose with making threats against federal officials, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Field Office, and the Department of Veterans Affairs Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neeraj N. Patel and Sean P. Mahard.
Updated January 8, 2024