Feds charge man with threatening to kill FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's family

He allegedly told authorities he was upset about the repeal of net neutrality.

Kaitlin Benz Editorial Summer Intern 2018 / News
2 min read

A 33-year-old man was arrested Friday on charges he threatened to kill the family of Ajit Pai, shown here.

Getty Images

A California man was arrested on Friday for allegedly threatening to kill the family of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, according to a statement from the US Department of Justice.

Markara Man, 33, of Norwalk, Calif., sent three emails to Pai in December, the Justice Department said. The first email accused Pai of being responsible for a child who allegedly had committed suicide because of the repeal of net neutrality regulations. The second email included threats to kill Pai's family members and listed names and address of three preschools in and around Arlington, Virginia, according to the court document posted below. The third email had no message in its body, but included an image depicting Pai and, in the foreground and slightly out of focus, a framed photograph of him and his family, the DoJ said.

The FBI traced the emails to Man's home in Norwalk, where Man allegedly admitted he sent the email threatening Pai's family because he was "angry" about the repeal of the net neutrality regulations and wanted to "scare" him, the Justice Department said.

This isn't the first time Pai has been threatened. In January, CNET reported the chairman may have cancelled his scheduled appearance at the CES trade show due to death threats. The chairman has courted controversy after pushing through the roll back of the Obama-era rules governing the open internet.

Man is charged with a threatening to murder a member of the immediate family of a US official with the intent to intimidate or interfere with such official while engaged in the performance of official duties, or with the intent to retaliate against such official on account of the performance of official duties. If convicted, Man faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.