Man arrested in Queens for allegedly making online threats against officials

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Man arrested for alleged online threats against elected officials
CeFaan Kim reports a Queens man has been arrested for allegedly making online threats against elected officials.

RIDGEWOOD, Queens (WABC) -- A Queens man has been arrested for allegedly making online threats against elected officials.

Brendan Hunt, 37, was arrested at his home on Gates Avenue in Ridgewood Tuesday morning.

Federal law enforcement also executed a search warrant at Hunt's apartment.

Brendan Hunt was arrested at his home on Gates Avenue in the Ridgewood section Tuesday morning.

According to court documents, Hunt allegedly threatened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Charles Schumer, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez under the online name "X-Ray Ultra."

Hunt works for the New York State Office of Court Administration, which said he will be suspended without pay pending further administrative action.

He was not at the U.S. Capitol January 6, but he posted threats online and was caught in the same broad FBI sweep following the insurrection.

Two days after the Capitol riot, prosecutors say he posted a video saying, "kill your senators...slaughter them all."

Hunt was ordered held without bail after prosecutors argued to Federal Judge Ramon Reyes that he was a flight risk and a posed a direct threat with the inauguration looming.

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"This is an extremely serious crime," Assistant US Attorney David Kessler said. "The allegations involve a chilling series of calls for direct violence against members of Congress over a month, for a firing squad, and for a parade of guns to the inauguration tomorrow January 20. The series culminated in a January 8 video threatening slaughter of US senators and members of Congress and overthrow of elected government by so called 'actual patriots,' and solicitation by the defendant for firearms so he could actually participate in the slaughter."

Judge Reyes, Jr. agreed with the severity of the charges in denying bail.

"The evidence against Mr. Hunt is strong, his history and characteristics, suspicion of mental health issues, family ties that are tenuous at best, some history of drug use and the nature and seriousness of the danger to the community, in particularly the legislative community, elected officials, and direct calls for others to cause them physical harm," he said.

Hunt's federal defender responded by asking for a mental evaluation.

Hunt faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison if convicted.

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