A man who was arrested and taken to jail for allegedly threatening to kill Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez purportedly told police he was “very proud” of what he wrote, Yahoo News reports.
On July 23, someone notified U.S. Capitol Police after witnessing a Facebook post that appeared to be a threat against the freshman New York Congresswoman. The post included a news story about Ocasio-Cortez, and allegedly included the caption, “She should be shot. Can’t fire me, my employer would load the gun for me.”
Police tied the alleged threat to Timothy James Ireland, 41, of Ohio. Using publicly-available phone records, on August 2 police were able to contact Ireland by phone. While talking to Ireland, he allegedly told police he was “very proud” of his post. He also allegedly admitted to having firearms, which he “always carried.”
Five days later, police raided Ireland’s Toledo home. Police allegedly found three rounds of.32-caliber ammunition four rounds belonging to a.45-caliber weapon, hidden in kitchen drawers.
On Friday, Ireland was criminally indicted for making interstate threats against Ocasio-Cortez, as well as for separate counts of being a felon and fugitive in possession of a firearm, the US attorney’s office in Ohio announced. Further, Ireland had two outstanding state warrants: one for violating probation in a felony case in Florida, and one for failure to appear for a possession of marijuana charge in Cook County, Georgia.
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Further, Ireland has a conviction from 1996 for dealing in stolen property in Sarasota County, Florida, according to the complaint against him.
In a statement, US Attorney Justin Herdman said that threats against politicians must be taken seriously. “There is absolutely no place in the marketplace of ideas for threats of violence against any person, especially those who are elected to represent the American people,” he said.
Ireland is not the first person to get in hot water for allegedly making threats against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In July, as The Independent reported at the time, Gretna, Louisiana police officer Charlie Rispoli, a 14-year veteran of the police department, reportedly wrote that Ocasio-Cortez, whom he called a “vile idiot,” “needs a round – and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” referring to her career as a bartender before she was elected to Congress.
He was later fired, according to a follow-up report in The Independent. Fellow Gretna officer Angelo Varisco was also fired for “liking” the post. Gretna police chief Arthur Lawson called the officers’ actions “an embarrassment.”