Federal agents arrested a court employee from Queens who allegedly made violent threats online to assassinate Democratic officials in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of angry Trump supporters.
Brendan Hunt, 37, was picked up at his Ridgewood, Queens home on Jan. 19, a day before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Federal prosecutors said Hunt, a full-time employee of the New York State Office of Court Administration and part-time actor/filmmaker, allegedly posted threats targeting Biden as well as other prominent Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, incoming Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Hunt was picked up as part of a nationwide law enforcement sweep aimed at catching the participants of the Jan. 6 Capitol coup attempt. Scores of suspects have already been arrested, including several other New York City residents, in the nearly two-week old investigation.
According to the criminal complaint, Hunt allegedly made repeated violent threats on Facebook, Parler and Bitchute between Dec. 6, 2020 and Jan. 12, 2021 using primarily his online alias, xrayultra — which is also the name of his filmmaking business and website.
In a Dec. 6 Facebook post, he allegedly called on Trump to seek “actual revenge on democrats” (sic) and to “hold a public execution of pelosi, aoc, schumer etc. And if you dont do it, the citizenry will.” (sic)
Hunt allegedly repeated similar threats on that same day in sharing on his Facebook feed a New York Daily News article about the arrest of a Staten Island pub manager who allegedly ran over a member of the New York City Sheriff’s office with his vehicle.
Two days after the Capitol attack, on Jan. 8, Hunt allegedly took to the video-sharing site Bitchute to post an 88-second diatribe calling again for the murder of Congress members.
“We need to go back to the U.S. Capitol when all of the Senators and a lot of the Representatives are back there, and this time we have to show up with our guns,” Hunt purportedly said, calling on viewers to “slaughter these motherf—ers” around “the inauguration of” Biden.
Federal agents traced the origin of where the video was uploaded — from Hunt’s cellphone, located near his Ridgewood home.
Four days later, on Jan. 12, Hunt allegedly repeated a call to arms on “jan 20” (sic), the date of Biden’s inauguration, in responding to a Parler message from disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The message came from Hunt’s Parler account name, xrayultra.
Hunt is charged with threatening to murder a United States official, a violation of Title 18 U.S. Code Section 115(a)(1)(b), a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
According to WABC-TV, the New York State Court Administration has indefinitely suspended Hunt without pay, pending the ongoing investigation.