Man acquitted over tweet offering $500 to killing an ICE agent
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A man who tweeted an offer of $500 to anyone who would kill a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent was acquitted Friday in Boston. 

Brandon Ziobrowski, 35, was arrested in August 2018 after tweeting "I am broke but I will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ice agent." 

He was charged with use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person, facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

“It seemed like the right verdict,” Ziobrowski said after the federal jury announced the decision Friday, NBC News reported. “It’s been a horrible year. I’m glad it’s over.”

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Ziobrowski’s attorney, Derege Demissie, said the case “should never have gone this far,” saying “The government turned a tweet that was made in jest – a hyperbolic political statement – into a federal case.”

He argued that his client’s comments were constitutionally protected speech and that federal prosecutors had blown Ziobrowski’s comments “out of proportion. 

“This is a guy who tweets about all kinds of things and said outrageous things,” he added, NBC News reported.

Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said in a Friday statement that he respects the findings of the jury.

"But in this case the defendant posted a tweet that, on its face, offered $500 to anyone who killed a federal agent," Lelling said. "In 2019, over 100 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty. The public needs to know that, regardless of today's verdict, we will never hesitate to prosecute apparent threats against law enforcement officers." 

Ziobrowski had previously tweeted his desire to “slit” the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE’s (R-Ariz.) throat, according to the original indictment. He began tweeting threats against law enforcement in February 2008, according to prosecutors, tweeting at the time “Guns should only be legal for shooting the police like the second amendment intended.” 

Twitter suspended Ziobrowski’s account, which was under the handle @Vine_II, in July 2018 at the behest of law enforcement.