GREENBELT, Md. -- A man has been arrested and charged in federal court with sending emails that threatened to harm and kill Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, and their families, federal prosecutors in Maryland announced Tuesday.
A criminal complaint filed Monday charges Thomas Patrick Connally Jr., 56, with threats against a federal official and interstate communication containing a threat to harm.
Beginning in December and up to last week, Connally used a Switzerland-based encrypted email service to send a series of emails to Collins and Fauci, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint.
One email threatened that Fauci and his family would be “dragged into the street, beaten to death, and set on fire.”
On April 24, Collins received four emails from the encrypted address associated with Connally and 30 minutes later, Fauci received a string of seven threatening emails just minutes apart, according to the affidavit. One of those emails threatened that Fauci would be “hunted, captured, tortured and killed."
The complaint was unsealed Tuesday after Connally’s arrest. He was arrested in West Virginia, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Marcia Murphy said. It’s unclear where he lives.
Connally is scheduled for an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on Wednesday. Online court records do not list an attorney for him.
If convicted, Connally faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for threats against a federal official, and a maximum of five years in federal prison for interstate communication containing a threat to harm.