Billings man admits making threats to kill Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester
BILLINGS — A Billings man admitted today to threatening to kill Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester in voicemail messages, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Anthony James Cross, 30, pleaded guilty to threats to injure and murder a United States Senator. Cross faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. The court set sentencing for May 1. Cross was detained pending further proceedings.
Under the terms of a plea agreement in the case, if the court accepts the agreement at sentencing, the government will seek to dismiss count two of the indictment, which charges Cross with threats against the president.
The government alleged in court documents that on April 17, 2023, at 5:34 a.m. and 5:37 a.m., two voicemails were left at Sen. Jon Tester’s Billings, Montana and Washington, D.C. offices. In the first voicemail, the caller stated that “Jon Tester…is gonna die a horrible death and so is your family…you’re not gonna do anything about this.” In the second voicemail, the caller stated, “I swear to God, you and your family will suffer such a horrendous death. And its not going to be by some white boy, no its gonna be by some Indian like me…I’m gonna kill every single one of your (obscenity) family members.” Law enforcement determined that the phone number associated with the calls was attributed to Cross.
The government further alleged that on April 25, 2023, Google contacted the FBI regarding multiple comments made to YouTube videos flagged as threatening. The comments were attributed to Cross’s YouTube account. Some of the comments made in April 2023 included:
- “I’m going to kill every trans I see.”
- “We are actively hunting down and killing any trans in our major cities. You won’t hear about it until trump overcomes his ‘indictment’ and Biden loses the ‘re-election.’”
- “I will personally kill Joe Biden.”
During an interview with law enforcement, Cross admitted to making the comments posted on YouTube and to using his cellular phone to make the comments.
The FBI and United States Secret Service conducted the investigation.
Clair J. Howard
Public Affairs Officer