A New Hampshire man was arrested and charged in connection with text messages that included death threats aimed at Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and his campaign event attendees, the U.S. attorney’s office in New Hampshire announced on Monday.
Tyler Anderson, 30, of Dover, N.H., was arrested Saturday and charged with transmitting in interstate commerce a threat to injure the person of another.
According to an FBI affidavit, the Ramaswamy campaign sent a text message Friday to notify voters, including Anderson, about an upcoming campaign event in Portsmouth, N.H. Anderson allegedly responded to the message by stating, “Great, another opportunity for me to blow his brains out!” and “I’m going to kill everyone who attends,” and adding a vulgar description of what he would do to the bodies.
While the statement from the U.S. attorney’s office did not name which presidential campaign was targeted, Ramaswamy’s team confirmed on Monday that he was the target.
“I’m grateful to the people on the front lines who work hard every day to make sure people like me and other Americans are kept safe,” Ramaswamy told reporters in New Hampshire, later adding, “I think that we are very well protected.” He declined to say when he found out about the alleged death threat or whether he would increase his security.
Ramaswamy’s staff reported the threatening text messages to authorities, the FBI affidavit said. Law enforcement officials searched Anderson’s residence on Saturday, arresting him and seizing his phone and firearms that were found there.
While searching Anderson’s phone, the affidavit says, authorities discovered the texts to Ramaswamy in a deleted folder and found additional threatening messages to another candidate.
According to the affidavit, one message sent Wednesday 6 stated, “Fantastic, now I know where to go so I can blow that b——‘s head off,” and subsequent texts referred to “a mass shooting” and intentions to defile a corpse.
Anderson admitted to sending the text messages to Ramaswamy and confirmed that he sent threatening texts to other campaigns, according to the affidavit.
Ramaswamy went on to hold his event in Portsmouth on Monday.
Anderson was scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday afternoon. If convicted, he could face five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.