WASHINGTON — An Arizona man charged in connection with threatening to kill FBI agents had 5,000 rounds of ammunition, an AR-15-style rifle and six loaded magazines when the FBI showed up to arrest him at his home, according to recently unsealed court documents.
Agents said that during last month’s arrest they uncovered three firearms, including a Smith & Wesson AR-15-style rifle, and body armor at Michael Lee Tomasi’s home in Rio Verde, Arizona. They also allegedly found a loaded handgun in his vehicle.
Tomasi, 37, was arrested Dec. 15 after a grand jury indicted him on three counts of threats against a federal official and three counts of making interstate threats stemming from threatening posts that he allegedly wrote on a social media platform.
Tomasi has pleaded not guilty to each count and is being held with bail. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 6.
An attorney for Tomasi did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night.
According to court documents, from May 2021 through November 2023 Tomasi posted about wanting to incite violence and threaten elected officials, a judge, federal officials and law enforcement officers.
The alleged posts appeared on an extremist website and frequently targeted FBI agents including a threat to shoot FBI agents “on site.”
Agents say that in August of last year, Tomasi posted: “Shoot the FBI first ask questions later. They are terrorists that deserve nothing but to be shot on site.” He also warned that FBI officers who “have a problem with that come to my house and see what happens.”
Tomasi also allegedly posted about wanting to torture a former federal official “to death,” subjecting a U.S. congresswoman to “the horror of a violent rape,” and executing a U.S. congressman. No lawmakers were named in the court documents.
Tomasi also made posts about firearms, and court documents describe his alleged willingness to act violently. He was accused of writing, “Violence is always the answer,” in a July 2021 post.
According to court documents, Tomasi agreed to be interviewed by agents after his arrest and admitted that he was the user linked to the threatening posts. Tomasi had been heavily drinking around the time of the posts, he allegedly told agents, and gave a detailed history of alcohol abuse.
He also allegedly said that he had been removed from other social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
The case began with a tip from a nonprofit group monitoring extremist websites that discovered threats targeting law enforcement and the willingness to use weapons, according to court documents. A referral was made to law enforcement authorities.
Tomasi’s arrest comes amid a wave of threats to public officials and those seeking political office.
A Florida man was arrested last week in connection with threats to kill Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., and his children. Last month, a New Hampshire man was indicted in connection with threatening text messages that were allegedly sent to three presidential candidates, including Republicans Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie.
Michael Kosnar reported from Washington and Zoë Richards from New York.
The content above is provided by NBC.
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