It’s easy, especially in this day and age, to get really angry with members of Congress, but as one California man found out the hard way, taking that anger to the level of making death threats will get you nowhere other than really high legal bills and serious consequences.
According to Fox News, Eugene Huelsman, 59, of Thousand Oaks, California, “pleaded guilty of one count of transmission of a threat in interstate commerce and was sentenced to six months of home confinement.”
A California man who pleaded guilty to making a death threat to Rep. Matt Gaetz has been sentenced to six months of home confinement. https://t.co/frJ7AZCzHp
Eugene Huelsman, 59, will also have five years of probation and will pay a $10,000 fine. pic.twitter.com/OF3h8p4EgP
— Newsmax (@newsmax) July 30, 2022
United States Attorney Jason R. Coody for the Northern District of Florida Department of Justice made the formal announcement regarding Huelsman’s outcome.
“The free exercise of speech is central to our democracy. However, the communication of threats of physical violence, in this case by an individual who had previously made and been investigated for similar threats of violence, is clearly unlawful,” Coody wrote.
He added: “With our law enforcement partners, we are committed to protecting public safety for all citizens.”
Sherri E. Onks, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division, reiterated that free speech doesn’t come without the possibility of consequences, specifically when issuing threats.
“Everyone has the right to express their opinion, but when you harass, intimidate, and threaten violence against others, it’s a federal crime that will not be tolerated,” the FBI SAC said.
She added: “Words matter and this sentencing should serve as a warning,” she added. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will work to hold you accountable.”