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Man charged with threatening to kill NY rep over net neutrality

Man charged with threatening to kill NY rep over net neutrality
© Greg Nash

A New York man was arrested and charged Wednesday after threatening to kill Rep. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoOvernight Health Care: White House acknowledges it will fall short of July 4 vaccine goal | Fauci warns of 'localized surges' in areas with low vaccination rates | Senate Finance leader releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices Trump offers to back Katko challenger after impeachment vote The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill MORE (R-N.Y.) and his family if the congressman did not support net neutrality.

Patrick D. Angelo, 28, of Syracuse, N.Y., allegedly left a voicemail for Katko on Oct. 19 at his Washington, D.C., office urging Katko to support net neutrality as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considered rolling back the Obama-era measures.

"Listen Mr. Katko, if you support net neutrality, I will support you. But if you don’t support net neutrality, I will find you and your family and I will kill…you…all. Do you understand?" Angelo said, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Western District of New York.

"Net neutrality is more important than the defense of the United States. Net neutrality is more important than free speech. Net neutrality is more important than health care. Net neutrality is literally the basis of the new society," Angelo continued.

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The message cut Angelo off as he was still speaking.

“All threats are reported to the U.S. Capitol Police in order to ensure the safety of Rep. Katko, his family, and staff. The Congressman and his family appreciate the diligent work of our local, state and federal law enforcement in monitoring these threats and taking appropriate action," said Erin O'Connor, the congressman's deputy chief of staff, in a statement.

Net neutrality rules require internet providers to treat all legal web traffic the same. The decision to repeal the regulations is being made by the FCC, not Congress.

The FCC announced earlier this month it will vote in December on whether to repeal net neutrality.

Angelo was charged with interstate communication of a threat and threatening a federal official, the U.S. Attorney's office said. The charges carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.

- This story was updated at 5:50 P.M. EST