Middle Village man sentenced for posting threats to kill a member of Congress: Feds

Middle Village resident Eduard Florea is sentenced in federal court to posting threatening statements connected to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. (Sketch by REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)

The Middle Village man who was arrested by federal agents during a raid on his home just days after insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 will spend nearly three years behind bars for threatening to kill a congressman and illegally possessing ammunition.

Proud Boys supporter Eduard Florea, 41, was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court Thursday, Dec. 16, by U.S. District Court Judge Eric R. Komittee to 33 months in prison for transmitting threats to injure others, including threats against Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia, after having been convicted of a felony. Florea pleaded guilty to the charges in August.

“With today’s sentence, the defendant faces serious consequences for threatening the life of United States Senator Raphael Warnock as part of his efforts to foment violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in connection with attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said.

Florea posted threatening statements online about killing officials, including now-U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, and committing other acts of violence in Washington, D.C., in connection with the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.

On the morning of Jan. 5, Florea allegedly posted, “We need to all come to an agreement … and go armed … and really take back Washington.” A few minutes later, Florea posted, “Tomorrow may very [well] be the day war kicks off …”

After the assault on Capitol Hill had begun, Florea allegedly posted that he intended to travel to Washington, D.C., as part of a group armed with firearms ready to engage in additional violence.

Between approximately 2 and 6 p.m. — while the Capitol was under siege — Florea posted the following messages, among others: “Mine are ready … I am ready … we need to regroup outside of DC and attack from all sides … talking to some other guys … I will keep watching for the signal”; “I am awaiting my orders … armed and ready to deploy …”; “Guns cleaned loaded … got a bunch of guys all armed and ready to deploy … we are just waiting for the word”; “It’s time to unleash some violence.”

When the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force executed the search warrant at Florea’s Middle Village home on Jan. 12, investigators found more than 1,000 rounds of rifle ammunition, over 20 rounds of shotgun ammunition, 72 military-style combat knives, two swords and two hatchets in his possession.

“This office is deeply committed to protecting our democratic institutions and preserving our democracy, and will vigorously prosecute those who would undermine our founding principles as a nation by threatening the safety of our elected representatives or those who seek elected office,” Peace said.

Florea had been previously convicted of a New York state firearms-related felony after police found a stockpile of weapons at his Staten Island home in 2014. He served a year in prison and later moved to Middle Village.