An Ohio man was charged with making threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, authorities say, after he wrote on Facebook the New York Democrat “should be shot.”
“She should be shot. Can’t fire me, my employer would load the gun for me,” Ireland wrote, according to police. The statement was apparently posted to Facebook along with a news story about the congresswoman.
On Aug. 2, Capitol Police called Ireland after finding his phone number in public records. The man took full responsibility for the statement while speaking with police, adding he was “very proud” of his work, according to a criminal complaint. Ireland also admitted to having firearms that he “always carries concealed,” police say.
An FBI criminal history check revealed Ireland had two outstanding warrants: one was a felony failure to appear in Sarasota County, Fla., after violating probation in a felony case; the other was a misdemeanor failure to appear bench warrant related to a possession of marijuana charge in Cook County, Ga.
Ireland was convicted in 1996 on four felony counts of dealing in stolen property in Sarasota County, according to the criminal complaint.
The man was present when police raided his Toledo home five days after the phone call, the complaint read. He was detained for the active warrants and admitted to having ammunition inside his house. Investigators say they found the ammo in kitchen drawers: three rounds of .32-caliber ammunition, and four rounds for a .45-caliber gun.
“There is absolutely no place in the marketplace of ideas for threats of violence against any person, especially those who are elected to represent the American people,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a release. “Disagreement on political issues cannot lead to acts of violence, and if it does, we will seek federal prison time.”
A spokesman for the Department of Justice said Ireland waived his hearing and will remain in custody at least until a bond hearing next week.