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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

California Man Pleads Guilty to Lying to Federal Agents

Eun Soo Lee Lied About Making Threats Against Congressman Tom Garrett

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – A California man, who made threats of violence against Virginia Congressman Tom Garrett, pleaded guilty yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to one count of lying to federal agents, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced.

Eun Soo Lee, 24, of Cypress, California, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday to a one-count felony Information charging him with lying to a federal agent.

“We must not mistake threats of violence for free speech,” United States Attorney Cullen stated today. “Although the First Amendment protects the right to express political views, its protections do not extend to communications that threaten the safety and well-being of any person, elected official or otherwise.”

According to evidence presented at yesterday’s guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer, in May of 2017, Lee, using a fake Facebook account and virtual private network to hide his identity, made threats against Congressman Garrett.

Those threats included, but were not limited to:

“You’re dead if I ever meet you in real life, fu****.  I’ll fu***** kill you.”

When questioned by law enforcement, Lee denied having a Facebook account, denied ever using a fake Facebook accounts, and denied ever sending messages to Congressman Garrett. Notwithstanding Lee’s efforts to hide his identity, investigators traced the messages to Lee, who eventually admitted to sending the threats. 

United States District Judge James P. Jones will sentence Lee on January 30, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. 

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Capitol Police, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Orange County (CA) Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated November 7, 2018