Queens Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Posting Threats to Kill a Member of Congress and Illegally Possessing Ammunition
Defendant Threatened Violent Attacks in Washington, D.C., on January 5 and 6, 2021
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Eduard Florea was sentenced by United States District Judge Eric R. Komitee to 33 months in prison for transmitting threats to injure others, including threats against now-United States Senator Raphael Warnock, and possessing ammunition after having been convicted of a felony. Florea pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2021.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the sentence.
“With today’s sentence, the defendant faces serious consequences for threatening the life of United States Senator Raphael Warnock as part of his effort to foment violence at the Capital on January 6, 2021 in connection with attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This Office is deeply committed to protecting our democratic institutions and preserving our democracy, and will vigorously prosecute those who would undermine our founding principles as a nation by threatening the safety of our elected representatives or those who seek elected office.”
Florea posted threatening statements online about killing elected officials, including now-United States Senator Warnock, and committing other acts of violence in Washington, D.C., in connection with the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. For example, on January 5, 2021, at approximately 8:40 p.m., Florea posted, “We need to all come to an agreement . . . and go armed . . . and really take back Washington.” A few minutes later, Florea posted, “Tomorrow may very [well] be the day war kicks off . . .” At 11:53 p.m. the same day, Florea posted, “Warnock is going to have a hard time casting votes for communist policies when he’s swinging with the f***ing fish.” In the early morning hours of January 6, 2021, at approximately 12:42 a.m., Florea referenced Senator Warnock and stated, “Dead men can’t pass sh*t laws . . .”
On January 6, 2021, after the assault on the United States Capitol had begun, Florea posted that he intended to travel to Washington, D.C., as part of a group armed with firearms ready to engage in additional violence. Between approximately 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.—while the Capitol was under siege—Florea posted the following messages, among others:
- “Mine are ready….I am ready…. we need to regroup outside of DC and attack from all sides… talking to some other guys….I will keep watching for the signal.”
- “I am awaiting my orders…armed and ready to deploy….”
- “Guns cleaned loaded . . . got a bunch of guys all armed and ready to deploy . . . we are just waiting for the word”
- “Me and some guys are gearing up to head in. . . . where are you . . . 3 cars already are enroute . . . .all armed.”
- “It’s time to unleash some violence.”
On January 12, 2021, FBI Special Agents and Task Force Officers with the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force executed a search warrant at Florea’s home in Middle Village, Queens. The search revealed that Florea, who had been previously convicted of a New York state firearms-related felony, illegally possessed more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Francisco J. Navarro and Andrew P. Wenzel are in charge of the prosecution.
Middle Village, Queens
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-037 (EK)