A Syracuse man allegedly threatened to kill the congressman and family members if he didn't support net neutrality
Prosecutors say a Syracuse man threatened Representative John Katko and his family if he failed to take a stance for net neutrality.
According to a criminal complaint, Katko — whose district includes Wayne County — received a threatening voicemail from 28-year-old Patrick Angelo at his Washington D.C. Office on Oct. 19.
In the message, prosecutors say Angelo told the congressman, "Listen Mr. Katko, if you support net neutrality, I will support you." But if he didn't, prosecutors say Angelo threatened to track down Katko and his family and "kill you all."
The U.S. Attorney's Office says the message added, "I will literally find all … of ... you and your progeny and t- just wipe you from the face of the earth. Net neutrality is more important than the defense of the United States. Net neutrality is more important than free speech. Net neutrality is more important than health care. Net neutrality is literally the basis of the new society."
Federal Communications Commission officials are currently considering a proposal that would make changes to net neutrality, a policy that forces internet providers to treat all online traffic the same.
“While citizens are certainly entitled to communicate their views on issues of importance to them to their elected officials, there are and must be bounds to the manner in which such views may be expressed," said U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy wrote in a statement.
As a result of the threat, Katko's security has been increased.
Angelo is charged with interstate communication of a threat and threatening a federal official. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine.