A Syracuse man has been arrested in connection with a reported death threat against Congressman John Katko. 28-year old Patrick Angelo has been arrested for allegedly leaving a voice mail message threatening to kill the Congressman and his family if he doesn’t support net neutrality.
The Republican Representative spoke about the incident on Thursday’s Finger Lakes Morning News.
Congressman Katko’s office reported the voicemail to the United States Capitol Police Threat Assessment Section, which began an investigation in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The telephone number that the call originated from was traced back to Angelo.
The complaint against Angelo contained the text of the message that cut off in mid-sentence:
“Listen Mr. Katko, if you support net neutrality, I will support you. But if you don’t support net neutrality, I will find you and your family and I will kill… you … all. Do you understand? I will literally find all… of … you and your progeny and t- just wipe you from the face of the earth. Net neutrality is more important than the defense of the United States. Net neutrality is more important than free speech. Net neutrality is more important than health care. Net neutrality is literally the basis of the new society. That even if you don’t understand, how important it is, net neutrality is literally the basis of the new … free… society. So if you don’t support it, I am will to lay down my li-“
Angelo is charged with threatening to kill a U.S. Congressman engaged in the performance of his official duties and making a threat in interstate and foreign commerce. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
Congress is debating whether telecom providers should be able to prioritize some web traffic at the expense of others. Current law gives no preference to any content over any other.