A man who tweeted an offer to pay $500 to anyone who would kill a federal immigration agent was acquitted Friday by a federal jury in Boston.
Brandon Ziobrowski, 35, was arrested in August 2018 and charged with use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person.
The tweet posted in July 2018 read: "I am broke but I will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ice agent,” referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, federal prosecutors said. Ziobrowski had faced up to five years in prison.
"But in this case the defendant posted a tweet that, on its face, offered $500 to anyone who killed a federal agent," Lelling said. "In 2019, over 100 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty. The public needs to know that, regardless of today's verdict, we will never hesitate to prosecute apparent threats against law enforcement officers."
Ziobrowski's attorney, Derege Demissie, said, "The government turned a tweet that was made in jest — a hyperbolic political statement — into a federal case," he said.