NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A Montgomery County man has pleaded guilty to a January 2021 shooting at Montgomery County Democratic Party headquarters in Norristown.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that 48-year-old Anthony Nero pleaded guilty to charges of sending threatening communications and cyber-stalking.
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Legal documents say Nero sent a threatening message over the Internet to the MCDP that headquarters “should probably increase security” on January 7, 2021. Thirteen days later, on President Joe Biden’s inauguration day, MCDP officials found the front window of its Norristown headquarters had been shot three times.
Nero admitted to Norristown police in February that he had sent the online threat via email and later shot into the MCDP office because he was both stressed by the pandemic and outraged by the presidential election.
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Police say the email read: “Just wanted to let your offices know that you should probably increase security. With this stolen election and the coup, violence is the only language you bloodsuckers understand. [Expletive] you and your BLM [expletive] together with ANTIFA. We WANT to end this uprising. Again, TRUMP YOU! You [expletive] traitors. Random acts of violence are difficult to investigate. Have fun.”
Authorities said the investigation confirmed that two used rounds recovered from the site were fired from Nero’s .45 caliber pistol.
“In the midst of a politically tumultuous time in our nation, Anthony Nero sent threatening communications and then turned those words into a violent act that could have resulted in catastrophic damage or worse,” said U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams.
Nero remains in federal custody.
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“Threatening violence is bad enough, but then Anthony Nero carried out his threat and fired several shots into the MCDP office,” said Jacqueline Maguire, a specialty agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia branch. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to investigating and holding anyone involved in such criminal conduct accountable. No one should be afraid of becoming a target for ruthless violence.”