Timothy James Ireland Jr, 41, of Toledo, is 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, the Justice Department said in a statement Friday.
Authorities say that on July 23, someone sent the Capitol Police a screenshot of a Facebook post linked to Ireland that featured a news story about the New York Democrat with a caption that read: “She should be shot. Can’t fire me, my employer would load the gun for me.”
“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 for the Northern District of Ohio Justin Herdman said in a statement. “Disagreement on political issues cannot lead to acts of violence, and if it does, we will seek federal prison time.”
When interviewed by investigators over the phone last week, Ireland said he was “very proud” of the post and noted that he carries concealed firearms, goes hunting and that he has guns for sport, according to a criminal complaint.
Ireland also said that “Everyone that he knows has guns,” the complaint said.
Capitol Police and agents with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched Ireland’s home on Thursday, finding three rounds of .32-caliber ammunition and four rounds of .45-caliber ammunition.
A background check revealed Ireland had outstanding warrants for failing to appear in a Sarasota, Fla. court on a charge of violating his probation and failing to appear in court for a marijuana possession charge in Cook, County Ga., authorities say. The complaint adds that in October 1996, Ireland was also convicted in Florida of four felony counts of dealing in stolen property.
Ocasio-Cortez has said she has been the target of numerous death threats since taking office. Last month, two Louisiana police officers were fired for suggesting on Facebook that she be shot.