Man who vowed to kill Garrett charged

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A California man pled guilty Nov. 6 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to one count of lying to federal agents about threats he made to outgoing Congressman Tom Garrett, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced in a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Eun Soo Lee, 24, of Cypress, California, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday to a one-count felony Information charging him with lying to a federal agent,” the release cited.

Garrett served as the congressman for the 5th Congressional District. Denver Riggleman won the election for the 5th Congressional District seat Nov. 6.

“In May of 2017, Lee, using a fake Facebook account and virtual private network to hide his identity, made threats against Congressman Garrett. Those threats included, but were not limited to: ‘You’re dead if I ever meet you in real life, fu****. I’ll fu***** kill you,’” the release cited.

“When questioned by law enforcement, Lee denied having a Facebook account, denied ever using a fake Facebook accounts, and denied ever sending messages to Congressman Garrett,” the release cited. “Notwithstanding Lee’s efforts to hide his identity, investigators traced the messages to Lee, who eventually admitted to sending the threats.”

According to the release, United States District Judge James P. Jones will sentence Lee Jan. 30, 2019 at 2:30 p.m.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Capitol Police, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Orange County (CA) Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer is prosecuting the case for the United States.

“We must not mistake threats of violence for free speech,” United States Attorney Cullen stated in the release. “Although the First Amendment protects the right to express political views, its protections do not extend to communications that threaten the safety and well-being of any person, elected official or otherwise.”