Toledo, Ohio, man charged after post on Facebook about Ocasio-Cortez
WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutors announced on Friday that a 41-year-old Toledo, Ohio, man has been charged after making threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and illegal possession of ammunition.
Ireland was charged with “one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of being a fugitive in possession of a firearm and one count of making interstate threats,” according to the Department of Justice.
According to the criminal complaint, at the end of July, the U.S. Capitol Police received a report from a person who’d perceived a Facebook post from Timothy J. Ireland, Jr. as potentially threatening against Ocasio-Cortez.
More: AOC says she gets death threats after organizations air ‘hateful messages’ about her
More: AOC calls out McConnell after photo shows ‘Team Mitch’ supporters ‘groping and choking’ cardboard cutout
“She should be shot. Can’t fire me, my employer would load the gun for me,” Ireland had written on Facebook, along with a link to a story about Ocasio-Cortez.
On August 2, the Capitol Police called Ireland at a number found in public records and asked him if he made the post and if he owned firearms. The Capitol Police said Ireland told them he was “very proud of that post he made,” and admitted to owning firearms.
Six days later, Capitol Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents searched Ireland’s house after obtaining a search warrant. They detained him at the scene and found seven rounds of ammunition inside his kitchen drawers – three rounds of .32 caliber ammunition and four rounds of .45 caliber ammunition.
Ireland told agents he did not have a gun in his house but brought ammunition with him when he moved into the house.
An FBI criminal background check of Ireland found he had two outstanding warrants for failure to appear charges in Florida and Georgia, which stemmed from a marijuana possession charge.
The criminal complaint noted Ireland had also been convicted in 1996 of four felony counts of dealing in stolen property in Sarasota County, Fla.
“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 press release. “Disagreement on political issues cannot lead to acts of violence, and if it does, we will seek federal prison time.”
More: Louisiana police officer’s Facebook post says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘needs a round,’ report says
Ocasio-Cortez has been outspoken about the number of threats that she receives as a high-profile member of Congress.
“I‘ve had mornings where I wake up & the 1st thing I do w/ my coffee is review photos of the men (it’s always men) who want to kill me,” she wrote on Twitter at the end of May.