A veteran from Millville who reportedly suffers from mental health problems has been convicted of threatening to murder Congressman Frank LoBiondo and members of his staff.

39-year-old Joseph Brodie will be sentenced at a later date after a jury deliberated for about six hours following a trial that lasted seven days.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence presented at trial:

In the spring of 2017, Brodie reached out to LoBiondo seeking assistance with the medical care and treatment that Brodie was receiving from the Veterans Administration. Over the course of the next few months, Brodie spoke and corresponded with the congressman’s Veterans Affairs Liaison and a caseworker, both of whom assisted him with appointments and meetings regarding his medical care. On Sept. 19, 2017, Brodie contacted the congressman’s office and spoke to the chief of staff on the phone. Brodie wanted the chief of staff to arrange a meeting with the congressman, but the chief of staff refused. During this phone call, Brodie became angry and ultimately threatened the life of the chief of staff – calling him “a dead man.”

Approximately an hour and a half later, Brodie sent an email to the congressman’s veterans’ affairs liaison as well as the caseworker, threatening their lives as well as the lives of the congressman and his staff in the Mays Landing Office. In this email, Brodie stated that he wanted to meet the congressman “face to face” and he pointed out “how easy” it was to find the congressman’s Mays Landing Office. Brodie also attached a terrain map of the area, with the area around the congressman’s office enlarged for detail and a red pinpoint location marker on the office. Writing about the map, Brodie stated, “[i]t even shows the environment and surrounding terrain, parking lots, wooded areas, etc., (like the kind a highly trained Combat Infantryman would use)…”

On the same day as the threats, Brodie sent text messages to his fiancée stating: “I threaten the life of a Congressman’s Chief of Staff. I’m pretty sure the Secret Service are going to investigate.” He also wrote that he was “prepared” for any law enforcement officers who might respond to his home. He wrote, “I’ll give them a chance to leave. If not, it’ll be First Blood Part II Type Shit (if you never saw that Rambo movie.” Brodie also wrote, “I won’t surrender. It’s not in me.” The same day, Brodie spoke to his fiancée on the phone and told her that he was going to an address in New Jersey, that he had GPS coordinates in his car, and that he was going to kill LoBiondo’s chief of staff, and that there was going to be a “blood bath.”

Jason Galanes, who is LoBiondo's chief of staff, told The Daily Journal the congressman is is pleased with the jury’s verdict and appreciates the successful effort of the US Attorney’s office and FBI in this case.

Brodie faces ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

 

SOURCES: U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, The Daily Journal, 10/10/18

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