A man from Queens, New York, pleaded guilty to posting murder threats and the illegal possession of ammunition on Aug. 16.
Eduard Florea, 41, submitted his plea in a federal court in Brooklyn. When sentenced, he could face a maximum of 15 years in prison.
According to the Department of Justice, the court filings show that Florea posted statements online threatening to kill elected officials, including Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).
“With today’s guilty plea, Florea admits to threatening the life of a successful candidate for the U.S. Senate and to urging others to take up arms to unleash violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to thwart the results of the Presidential election,” Acting U.S. Attorney Kasulis said in a statement.
“This Office is deeply committed to protecting our democratic institutions and to using all available tools to preserve the public safety, uphold the rule of law, and support the peaceful transfer of power.”
According to a Jan. 13 affidavit (pdf), Florea had made the posts on the social media platform Parler using the name “LoneWolfWar.”
The FBI were later able to identify Florea after Parler shared information regarding the suspect’s violent posts, court documents show. The records obtained from Parler enabled investigators to identify a phone number associated with Florea’s account.
Florea also wrote statements relating to the certification of the 2020 election.
The Department of Justice stated that on the evening of Jan. 5, Florea wrote: “We need to all come to an agreement … and go armed … and really take back Washington.”
Moments later, he posted: “Tomorrow may very [well] be the day war kicks off …”
“Warnock is going to have a hard time casting votes for communist policies when he’s swinging with the f***ing fish,” he wrote later.
After the initial breach of the Capitol, Florea wrote on the internet that he had plans to go to Washington D.C. as a member of an armed group, claiming readiness to engage in violence.
“Mine are ready … I am ready … we need to regroup outside of D.C. and attack from all sides … talking to some other guys … I will keep watching for the signal,” one of his posts said.
In another post, he wrote: “Guns cleaned loaded … got a bunch of guys all armed and ready to deploy … we are just waiting for the word.”
“3 car [sic] full of armed patriots heading in from NY …” he posted.
According to court documents, law enforcement does not believe that Florea traveled to D.C. on Jan. 6.
FBI Special Agents and other task forces have executed a search warrant at his home in Queens, which resulted in the finding of the illegal possession of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
Florea had been convicted in the past for a firearms-related felony in New York.
More than 500 defendants across the United States have been charged in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
The majority of the charges were for entering or remaining on restricted federal grounds, while more than 200 have been charged with obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding, or attempting to do so.
About a dozen people have pleaded guilty to different federal charges, ranging from misdemeanors to felony obstruction.
Around 165 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees, among who more than 50 have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer, according to the DOJ.