A 41-year-old New York man accused of threatening to kill Georgia senator Raphael Warnock prior to and during the January 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection pleaded guilty to the charge in a Brooklyn federal court on Monday.
According to The New York Times, the accused, identified as Eduard Florea, was also a supporter of the Proud Boys – the far-right male-only group. Florea admitted to posting harmful threats targeted at the Black senator after he won the tightly contested 2020 Georgia senatorial election runoff.
In one of his threatening online posts which he shared on January 5, the day the runoff was held, Florea wrote, “Warnock is going to have a hard time casting votes for communist policies when he’s swinging with the f***ing fish.” In the wee hours of January 6, prosecutors said Florea also shared another threatening online post directed at Warnock.
“Dead men can’t pass sh*t laws . . .” the accused shared.
The accused is said to have shared the violent posts on Parler, a social networking platform known to be frequently used by conservatives and Donald Trump supporters. Florea used the name “LoneWolfWar,” The New York Times reported. Also on the eve of the U.S. Capitol riots, prosecutors said Florea posted that they all needed to “come to an agreement” to go to the U.S. Capitol “armed” and “really take back Washington.” He then followed those posts with threatening comments against Warnock.
And during the January 6 riots, prosecutors also said Florea expressed his intention to travel to Washington, D.C. with a group of armed people “ready to engage in additional violence.”
“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,” he shared in one of his posts. In another post, he wrote, “Guns cleaned loaded . . . got a bunch of guys all armed and ready to deploy . . . we are just waiting for the word.”
“It’s time to unleash some violence,” Florea wrote in another post.
Besides admitting to threatening the Georgia senator, Florea also pleaded guilty to a weapons charge after federal investigators discovered over 1,000 rounds of ammunition in his Queens home during a search in January. Authorities determined the accused, who was arrested the same month, illegally possessed the ammunition as the state had previously convicted him for a firearms-related felony.
“With today’s guilty plea, Florea admits to threatening the life of a successful candidate for the U.S. Senate and to urging others to take up arms to unleash violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 to thwart the results of the Presidential election.” acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said. “This Office is deeply committed to protecting our democratic institutions and to using all available tools to preserve the public safety, uphold the rule of law and support the peaceful transfer of power.”
Florea’s sentencing date is scheduled for November 29 and he faces up to 15 years in prison. He is currently being detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.