Amarillo Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening Prominent New York Rabbis
AMARILLO, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - An Amarillo man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to threatening to execute three prominent Jewish rabbis, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.
Christopher Stephen Brown was charged via criminal complaint on Dec. 6, 2021, and indicted later that month. He pleaded guilty yesterday to making threatening interstate communications before U.S. Magistrate District Judge Lee Ann Reno in Amarillo.
“In addition to expressing disgusting anti-Semitic views, Mr. Brown made specific threats of violence against multiple individuals, which is prohibited under federal law,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham. “We will not allow our citizens to be subjected to this sort of menacing conduct.”
“Mr. Brown’s statements indicated he wanted to potentially commit violent acts against members of the Jewish community; this type of behavior is not tolerated by law enforcement. This action is a criminal violation and also instills fear in a community that has long been a target of hateful rhetoric and violence,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno. “The FBI’s mission is to uphold the U.S. Constitution and to protect the American people. We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to pursue individuals who pose a threat to public safety.”
According to plea papers, Mr. Brown admitted to placing threatening calls to Chabad Lubavitch, a Jewish organization that has provided spiritual guidance and assistance to Jewish people since before the Holocaust. Chabad is headquartered in New York City and maintains more than 3,500 institutions worldwide.
In those calls, the defendant stated his name was “Madrikh Obadiah” and threatened to “execute” several rabbinical leaders, identified in court documents as L.S., Y.K., and M.K. Over the course of multiple calls, he vowed he would tear their eyes and tongues out, blow their heads of, and kill every rabbi he could find.
According to court documents, he also sent messages to the organization via their website, calling for death to all Jews and linking to his YouTube channel, which also contained threatening content.
Mr. Brown now faces up to five years in federal prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, Amarillo Resident Agency and the Randall County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation in partnership with the FBI’s New York Field Office and the New York Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Frausto is prosecuting the case.
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