Mercer County man charged with threats to kill FBI agents after Mar-a-Lago search
A Mercer County man made online threats to murder FBI agents after the bureau's search of former president Donald Trump's Florida estate last week, saying "come and get me you piece of [expletive] feds" and "I am going to [expletive] slaughter you," according to a federal complaint filed Monday in Pittsburgh.
Adam Bies, 46, is charged in U.S. District Court with influencing, impeding or retaliating against federal law officers.
He appeared briefly by video before a federal magistrate judge on Monday afternoon and will remain in U.S. custody pending a detention hearing Thursday. The judge said she'd likely appoint a lawyer for him after she had a chance to review his financial records.
According to an FBI affidavit, Bies issued a variety of threats on Gab after the Aug. 8 search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago complex in which agents removed boxes of classified documents.
For subscribers:FBI seized top secret documents at Trump's Mar-a-Lago, but gave no clear hints on what they are
Investigation of Trump prompts threats
According to records unsealed after the search, federal authorities are investigating Trump for potential violations of the Espionage Act.
The FBI's action has prompted a flood of violent rhetoric and threats from far-right extremists.
In the affidavit for Bies, the FBI said he compared bureau agents to the Nazi SS of World War II and the Soviet-era KGB and said everyone at the FBI, from agents to janitors, deserves to die.
"My only goal is to kill more of them before I drop," Bies wrote on Thursday. "I will not spend one second of my life in their custody."
The case began when an FBI national threat team received a tip from a domestic terrorism tracking group that someone calling himself "BlankFocus" was issuing threats on Gab.
"If you work for the FBI then you deserve to die," the poster on Gab wrote.
After an emergency request for information, Gab provided subscriber data for "Adam Campbell," which the FBI said is an alias that Bies said he used "so that corporate Murica' can't google me out of a job."
Agents tracked Bies' IP address to his residence on Falls Road in Springfield Township, Mercer County.
What we know:What did the FBI look for – and find – when searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home?
'Go ahead and ban me' from Gab
A review of Bies' Gab chats revealed a range of threats, according to the affidavit.
"I’ll shoot an SS officer in the head just as quick as I’d shoot a KGB officer in the head," he said. "Keep that in mind. There are plenty of other letters in the alphabet. Police state scum are police state scum. Period."
He also tagged Gab CEO Andrew Torba regarding a news article about FBI Director Christopher Wray discussing threats the FBI had received after the Mar-a-Lago search. He expressed anger at Gab for warnings about removing chats containing threats and said, "I sincerely believe that if you work for the FBI, then you deserve to DIE."
In another post on Thursday Bies referenced a message Gab had issued him, saying the platform "just gave me an account warning today for saying that a bunch of child molesting [expletives] at the FBI should be put down."
He also called Torba a "piece of [expletive]" and told him to "go ahead and ban me."
A review of his Gab chats from Wednesday revealed other threats against the FBI, agents said.
In one post, according to the affidavit, he said, "HEY FEDS. We the people cannot WAIT to water the trees of liberty with your blood. I’ll be waiting for you to kick down my door.”
Escalation of threats by radicals since Mar-a-Lago search
Based on those comments and others, the agent who wrote the affidavit said he believes Bies is willing to commit violence against law enforcement in support of his beliefs "even if that costs him his own life."
Since the FBI search in Florida, researchers who track extremism, along with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, have warned of escalating threats by radicals advocating civil war and attacks on federal agents.
At least one person appears to have taken action on those threats.
Last week, Ricky Shiffer Jr., 42, a Navy veteran, tried to breach the FBI's office in Cincinnati. He fled when an alarm sounded, according to police and the FBI. Following a car chase, a standoff and unsuccessful attempts at a negotiated surrender, police killed him.
In Phoenix on Sunday, a group of armed Trump supporters staged a protest outside the FBI's office, although it later broke up peacefully.
This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Mercer man charged with threatening FBI agents after Mar-a-Lago search