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Maryland man sentenced to prison for threatening Member of Congress

ANNAPOLIS, MD—A Maryland man has been sentenced to federal prison for threatening a Member of Congress.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett on Thursday sentenced Justin Kuchta, 40, of Annapolis, to four months in federal prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for threatening to murder a United States Member of Congress.

The sentence was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the United States Capitol Police; and Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, Colonel Roland L. Butler, Jr.

According to his plea agreement, Kuchta made threats to murder a Member of the U.S. Congress. Specifically, a U.S. Member of Congress’ district office in Texas reported that on July 18, 2022, it received a threatening message via an event management website. The website was being used by an event planner to coordinate an event held in the State of Missouri, being attended by said Member of Congress. The Subject line of that email read, in relevant part: “Rally in Missouri – Featured Guest [Member of Congress], [Individual 1], and [Individual 2].” The message stated, “Thank you for the address!!! I’m coming to murder all of you Satanist fckers!!! Especially the chuckle-fck Zodiak [sic] Killer [Member of Congress]!! That fat fake fcker ass will be the first on the gallows!! SEE ALL OF YOU FCKERS REALLY SOON!!! With my fresh militia and weapons!!! Thanks for the info f*ckers!!!” The Member of Congress’ Washington office reported that a similar message was sent on July 22, 2022, using the same event management website.

As detailed in the plea agreement, an investigation revealed that the IP address was registered to a private high-speed network operated by the State of Maryland. Network records revealed that the IP address originated from a Virtual Private Network and computer assigned to Kuchta.

Kuchta was subsequently interviewed, after being advised of his rights, by Special Agents with the U.S. Capitol Police and investigators assigned to the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit at his place of employment in Annapolis. While Kuchta initially denied sending the email messages, he ultimately admitted that he sent the July 18, 2022, threatening message over the website.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

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