A New Hampshire man who was accused of threatening to kill Vivek Ramaswamy and his supporters at a campaign rally has been indicted by a federal grand jury on additional charges for threatening the lives of former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, another unnamed presidential candidate. and others, according to an indictment filed Wednesday.
The man, Tyler Anderson, 30, of Dover, now faces three counts of transmitting threats for sending death threat text messages to three presidential candidates campaigning in New Hampshire, authorities say. The text messages were sent in three separate episodes in late November and early December. The last set of messages, sent on December 8, were addressed to Mr. Ramaswamy.
Christie campaign spokesman Karl Rickett confirmed Thursday that Christie was the target of the second episode, on December 6. Text messages addressed to Christie were found on Anderson's phone, according to an FBI affidavit. .
Anderson was arrested Dec. 9 after federal agents traced threatening text messages from Ramaswamy to his phone and home, according to the affidavit. His phone was confiscated during the arrest and messages addressed to Mr. Ramaswamy and Mr. Christie were found on it. Firearms were also seized during Mr. Anderson's arrest.
In an interview with an FBI agent after his arrest, Anderson acknowledged sending threatening messages to Ramaswamy and other presidential candidates, according to the affidavit. Messages sent to Christie's campaign, photographs of which were included in court documents, threatened to kill Christie and others at a campaign event in a “mass shooting.” Officials redacted information in the photographs that would have identified Christie as the target.
Christie's campaign previously declined to say it had been the target of threats, but a campaign statement this month thanked law enforcement officials for “acting quickly to address these threats.”
Anderson was released on December 14 on the condition that he avoid contact with presidential candidates and their campaigns. His arraignment is scheduled for January 5.
In the first incident, on Nov. 22, Anderson sent a series of text messages threatening to “impale” and “gut” an unnamed presidential candidate, according to the indictment.
Anderson sent additional text messages on Dec. 8 threatening to kill a third presidential candidate, later identified as Ramaswamy, and attendees at a scheduled campaign event in Portsmouth, federal prosecutors said. Those text messages were sent in response to an automated campaign message and implied that the threat would be carried out with a firearm. The threats to Christie were also sent in response to an automated campaign message.
A Ramaswamy campaign staffer reported the text messages to local police, and the FBI conducted the investigation that led to Mr. Anderson's arrest.
Each of the three counts carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and three years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000.
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