New Jersey Resident Convicted of Threatening to Murder Congressman, Staff
CAMDEN, N.J. – A New Jersey resident was convicted by a federal jury today of two counts of threatening to murder U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo and members of the congressman’s staff, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Joseph Brodie, 39, of Millville, New Jersey, was convicted in Camden federal court following a seven-day trial on two counts of making threats to officials, officers and employees of the United States – specifically, for threatening to murder LoBiondo’s chief of staff and threatening to murder LoBiondo, his chief of staff, his veterans affairs liaison, and all of the staff of the Mays Landing office. The jury deliberated for approximately six hours before returning the verdict.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence presented at trial:
In the spring of 2017, Brodie reached out to LoBiondo seeking assistance with the medical care and treatment that Brodie was receiving from the Veterans Administration. Over the course of the next few months, Brodie spoke and corresponded with the congressman’s Veterans Affairs Liaison and a caseworker, both of whom assisted him with appointments and meetings regarding his medical care. On Sept. 19, 2017, Brodie contacted the congressman’s office and spoke to the chief of staff on the phone. Brodie wanted the chief of staff to arrange a meeting with the congressman, but the chief of staff refused. During this phone call, Brodie became angry and ultimately threatened the life of the chief of staff – calling him “a dead man.”
Approximately an hour and a half later, Brodie sent an email to the congressman’s veterans’ affairs liaison as well as the caseworker, threatening their lives as well as the lives of the congressman and his staff in the Mays Landing Office. In this email, Brodie stated that he wanted to meet the congressman “face to face” and he pointed out “how easy” it was to find the congressman’s Mays Landing Office. Brodie also attached a terrain map of the area, with the area around the congressman’s office enlarged for detail and a red pinpoint location marker on the office. Writing about the map, Brodie stated, “[i]t even shows the environment and surrounding terrain, parking lots, wooded areas, etc., (like the kind a highly trained Combat Infantryman would use)…”
On the same day as the threats, Brodie sent text messages to his fiancée stating: “I threaten the life of a Congressman’s Chief of Staff. I’m pretty sure the Secret Service are going to investigate.” He also wrote that he was “prepared” for any law enforcement officers who might respond to his home. He wrote, “I’ll give them a chance to leave. If not, it’ll be First Blood Part II Type Shit (if you never saw that Rambo movie.” Brodie also wrote, “I won’t surrender. It’s not in me.” The same day, Brodie spoke to his fiancée on the phone and told her that he was going to an address in New Jersey, that he had GPS coordinates in his car, and that he was going to kill LoBiondo’s chief of staff, and that there was going to be a “blood bath.”
One week later, in a statement recorded by the FBI, Brodie confessed to having made the phone threat to the chief of staff on Sept. 19, 2017, and to having sent the email threat on Sept. 19, 2017.
The evidence showed that at the time Brodie made these threats, Brodie owned several firearms and a large amount of ammunition at his home.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; special agents of the U.S. Capitol Police, under the direction of Chief Matthew R. Verderosa; officers from the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; and the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae, with the investigation leading to today’s conviction.
The counts on which Brodie has been convicted are punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara A. Aliabadi and Jason Richardson, of the Camden office.