A criminal complaint has been filed charging Justin Kuchta, age 39, of Annapolis, Maryland, with a federal charge for sending messages over the Internet that threatened to injure and kill Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a United States Member of Congress.
The complaint was filed on September 6, 2022.
Kuchta is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore today at 2:30 p.m. before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner.
“You have the right to your own opinions, but not the right to threaten a federal official’s life,” said United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Erek L. Barron. “We’ll continue prosecuting these threats to the fullest extent of the law.”
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According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Kuchta made threats to murder Sen. Ted Cruz.
The affidavit alleges that Cruz’s district office in Texas reported on July 18, 2022, that it received a threatening message via an event management website.
The message said, “Thank you for the address!!! I’m coming to murder all of you Satanist f*ckers!!! Especially the chuckle-f*ck Zodiak [sic] Killer [Member of Congress 1]!! That fat fake f*cker ass will be the first on the gallows!! SEE ALL OF YOU F*CKERS REALLY SOON!!! With my fresh militia and weapons!!! Thanks for the info f*ckers!!!”
According to the affidavit, the Member of Congress’ Washington office reported that a similar message was sent on July 22, 2022, using the same event management website.
According to the affidavit, an investigation revealed that the IP address was registered to a private high-speed network operated by the State of Maryland.
Network records revealed that the IP address originated from a Virtual Private Network and computer assigned to Kuchta. Kuchta was subsequently interviewed by Special Agents with the U.S. Capitol Police at his place of employment in Annapolis, Maryland.
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If convicted, Kuchta faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for interstate communication containing a threat to injure. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.
A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.