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Press Release

Mercer County Man Charged with Communicating Threats to Attack White People

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. – A Mercer County, New Jersey, man was arrested Friday night for transmitting via the internet a post containing threats to kill white people, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Joshua Cobb, 23, of Trenton, New Jersey, was arrested and charged by complaint with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Rukhsanah Singh in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Dec. 17, 2022, Cobb used a social media application to post a message, stating:

  • I want to cause mayhem on the white community. The reason i specifically want to target white people is because as a black male, they will NEVER understand my struggles. Same way I will never understand their struggles, but I don’t care to. I want to erase them. All of them really, but in this case as many as I possibly can. As of today I have officially began planning my attack. It is going to take place in 2023 in the state of New Jersey, I have not chosen a exact date but I am going to be sure it is close to an important holiday to their race. I have a location in mind already which I have frequented for the past year and I am certain nobody there is armed to be able to stop me from spraying them to the ground. I have already acquired 2 of the 4 firearms I plan to use for my attack, and I also know my entry and exit points already after the mayhem.

Following this post, in April and May 2023, Cobb made several additional posts on another social media application, in which he discussed his hopes of progressing into a serial killer, stating:

  • Imagine the rush you’d feel while shooting some sh*t up. Probably could get literally high off the adrenaline alone. I’d probably OD on my own adrenaline after the 10th body goes down.
  • 100% someday. Just not yet thought. I want to continue training and buying more ammunition.
  • Tbh I hope I do progress into a serial killer because I f*cking hate life man... But one day everyone will suffer. I promise I will make everyone feel my f*ucking pain. My deep, sincere, raw, & sharp pain.
  • There is no way out for me. The only way out is bloodshed.
  • Just wait man. Remember [my username]. [I] will leave clues when im done.
  • I’m just leaving evidence for whoever investigates my case.

Cobb joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2023 and began basic training in June 2023. Cobb was stationed in California until his recent discharge.

In statements to law enforcement, Cobb admitted to writing the above-described posts and provided detailed information on locations he had considered as possible targets for his attack, including a Jersey Strong gym and an Aldi grocery store in Robbinsville, New Jersey. Cobb also discussed his access to guns and idolized other mass shooters.

A lawful search of Cobb’s cell phone revealed additional notes from April and May 2023 expressing Cobb’s homicidal ideations, stating:

  • It’s all a f*cking game and you all are going to die. I currently lack the means necessary to kill as many as I intend to but one day I will have the available resources (finance) to purchase the appropriate weaponry for my killing(s).
  • All my life I have been doubyed… Ive been taken as the joke… ive been f*cked around with… well now its my turn. I am going to kill one of you mother*ckers I f*cking hate humanity. All of you f*cking duck and I don’t give a single f*ck about any of you though I may appear I do.
  • Im ready to grt to the good part of my story where I start taking you mother f*ckers out and killing you all… My rampage will soon happen… I plan to now continue accumulating the necessary equipment needed to execute. Once all equipment is in, time will then tell. You will all die.
  • I hate all of this sh*t and I feel like my only way out of the pain and suffering is by exploding. So I await… I await that moment so I can make those moments final. For whomever… myself or a victim.

Cobb’s phone also contained notes on how to bring guns into New Jersey.  

The charge of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers of the FBI Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy, with the investigation leading to the arrest. He also thanked the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, under the direction of U.S. Attorney E. Martin Estrada, agents of the FBI Field Office in Los Angeles, California, under the direction of Acting Assistant Director in Charge Mehtab Syed; the Hamilton Police Division, under the direction of Chief Kenneth R. DeBoskey; the Robbinsville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael K. Polaski; and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vera Varshavsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s National Security Unit, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division. 

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 13, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-168