No bail for ailing Proud Boys supporter over weapons cache, Capitol riot threats

FILE PHOTO: Court sketch of Eduard Florea
·2 min read

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Proud Boys supporter accused of keeping a large weapons cache and making social media threats tied to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was denied bail on Wednesday, despite evidence of what his lawyer said were signs of chronic kidney disease.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom in Brooklyn said Eduard Florea "presents a significant danger to the community," and should not be released into confinement at his mother's Bronx, New York home on $100,000 bond as his lawyer requested.

Florea, a 40-year-old married father of two, has been detained in a Brooklyn jail since January, when he pleaded not guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition and making online threats.

Prosecutors said an FBI search of his home in the Middle Village section of Queens found more than 900 rounds of ammunition, 72 military-style combat knives, two hatchets and two swords.

They also said Florea used the conservative platform Parler to make threats before and during the riot, including by appearing to call Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock a "dead" man and writing: "It's time to unleash some violence."

Florea was not in Washington on Jan. 6. The Proud Boys are a far-right group that has supported violence and had endorsed former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Bloom directed that a specialist see Florea within one week about his kidney problems, after his lawyers said Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center was providing "insufficient" medical care limited to blood and urine tests.

"Putting this off is endangering him, and he is still presumed innocent even if I'm not releasing him on bond," Bloom said.

More than 480 people have been charged in connection with the riot, where Trump supporters tried to stop Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden's election win. Trump falsely claimed that Biden's win resulted from widespread fraud.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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