GREENBELT, Md. — A 56-year-old Maryland man is facing several charges after investigators say he threatened the current directors of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Drs. Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins.
According to the Department of Justice, Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. was arrested and charged with making threats against a federal official and interstate communication containing a threat to harm.
“We will never tolerate violent threats against public officials,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner. “Our public health officials deserve our thanks and appreciation for their tireless work, and we will not hesitate to bring charges against those individuals who seek to use fear to silence these public servants.”
Court documents allege that from December 28, 2020 to July 21, 2021, Connally used an email account from a provider of encrypted email services based in Switzerland to send a series of emails to Dr. Fauci, the director NIAID and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, threatening to harm and or kill him and members of his family.
One of the emails allegedly said Fauci and his family would be “dragged into the street, beaten to death, and set on fire.”
The Department of Justice says that on April 24, 2021, seven threatening emails were sent from the encrypted email account in just seven minutes.
Court documents say on the same day, just 30 minutes before the seven threatening emails were sent to Fauci, Dr. Collins received four threatening emails from the same account.
According to an affidavit, Connally was sending threatening emails to Fauci as recently as July 21.
If convicted, Connally faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for threats against a federal official and another maximum sentence of five years in prison for interstate communication containing a threat to harm.
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