Cambridge man arrested in NYC for tweet offering to pay someone to kill ICE agents
Brandon Ziobrowski allegedly tweeted that he would pay someone $500 to kill an ICE agent.
A Cambridge man named Brandon Ziobrowski has been arrested in New York City for threatening to solicit the murder of ICE agents online.
Ziobrowski, 33, was arrested Thursday morning in New York and is being transported to Boston to appear in court at a later date after making a threat against Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials.
“I am broke but will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ice agent,” Ziobrowski allegedly tweeted, according to the Department of Justice, on July 2. “@me seriously who else can pledge get in on this let’s make this work.”
Ziobrowski’s Twitter handle has since been suspended.
This was not Brandon Ziobrowskis’ first such tweet allegedly meant to incite violence, law enforcement officials say.
According to court documents, Ziobrowski created a Twitter account in 2009 under the handle @Vine_II. Officials say that under that Twitter account, Ziobrowski repeatedly tweeted about his desire to “slit” Senator John McCain’s throat.
In Feb, 2018, Ziobrowski allegedly began writing tweets that “promoted violence against law enforcement,” per U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office. On Feb, 24, 2018, one such tweet read: “Guns should only be legal for shooting the police like the second amendment intended.”
More tweets began to target ICE agents specifically, officials say.
On March 1, 2018, the ICE Field Office tweeted that ICE officers put their “lives on the line to arrest criminal aliens.” Ziobrowski responded to that tweet, writing “Thank you ICE for putting your lives on the line and hopefully dying I guess so there’s less of you?”
At the time of his July 2 tweet allegedly offering money to anyone who kills an ICE agent, Ziobrowski had 448 Twitter followers.
Ziobrowski has been charged with the use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person, an offense that calls for “a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.”
In May, a Brooklyn comedian was visited by Homeland Security officials after publishing a tweet in which he touched on the idea of killing ICE agents.
“Ok here’s how Cinco de Mayo works in 2018,” Jake Flores tweeted. “White people are allowed to culturally appropriate on the condition that you help to destroy ICE. You kill 1 ICE agent and you get to wear a sombrero. 2 kills and you can wear a pancho.”
Flores told Splinter that federal agents then busted into his Brooklyn apartment not long after. He had a conversation with them, Flores said, about why he didn’t like ICE.
ICE has been at the center of controversy lately as many oppose President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Activists as well as politicians have been calling for an end to the federal agency, which began in 2003. Even Cynthia Nixon, a candidate for governor of New York, has voiced her support to Abolish ICE.