A Millville man was convicted by a federal jury Wednesday of two counts of threatening to murder U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo and members of the congressman’s staff, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Joseph Brodie, 39, threatened LoBiondo, R-2nd, his chief of staff, his Veterans Affairs liaison and all of the staff of the Mays Landing office, Carpenito said in a statement.
After a seven-day trial, the jury deliberated for about six hours before returning the verdict, Carpenito said.
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The counts on which Brodie has been convicted are punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date, Carpenito said.
In the spring of 2017, Brodie reached out to LoBiondo seeking assistance with the medical care Brodie was receiving from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Over the next few months, Brodie corresponded with the congressman’s Veterans Affairs liaison and a caseworker, both of whom assisted him with appointments and meetings regarding his medical care.
On Sept. 19, 2017, Brodie contacted the congressman’s office and spoke to the chief of staff on the phone.
Brodie wanted the chief of staff to arrange a meeting with LoBiondo, but the chief of staff refused. During the call, Brodie became angry and threatened the life of the chief of staff, calling him “a dead man.”
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About an hour and a half later, Brodie sent an email to LoBiondo’s Veterans Affairs liaison as well as the caseworker, threatening their lives as well as the lives of the congressman and his staff in the Mays Landing office.
In the email, Brodie said he wanted to meet the congressman “face to face” and pointed out “how easy” it was to find LoBiondo’s Mays Landing office.
Brodie also attached a map of the area, with the area around LoBiondo’s office enlarged for detail and a red pinpoint location marker on the office.
On the same day as the threats, Brodie texted his fiancée stating, “I threaten the life of a Congressman’s chief of staff. I’m pretty sure the Secret Service are going to investigate.”
Brodie also wrote that he was “prepared” for any law-enforcement officers who might respond to his home.
“I’ll give them a chance to leave,” Brodie wrote. “If not, it’ll be First Blood Part II,” referring to the Sylvester Stallone movie.
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Brodie also wrote, “I won’t surrender. It’s not in me.”
The same day, Brodie spoke to his fiancée on the phone and told her he was going to an address in New Jersey, that he had GPS coordinates in his car and that he was going to kill LoBiondo’s chief of staff, and that there was going to be a “blood bath.”
State Police arrested Brodie Sept. 20. Troopers found Brodie trying to hide in a home trailer before fleeing out the front door with an assault rifle, which he tried to fire, the criminal complaint said. They also seized weapons, including three rifles, two handguns and three 30-round high-capacity magazines.
One week later, in a statement recorded by the FBI, Brodie confessed to having made the phone threat to the chief of staff and to having sent the email threat, Carpenito said.