A Nanuet man accused of making online threats against President Barack Obama, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and other elected officials on his Facebook page has been indicted on federal charges, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Lawrence Mulqueen, 49, was indicted Thursday by a White Plains grand jury on a charge of threatening to kill federal officials and another charge of transmitting threats in interstate commerce, both felonies.
Mulqueen, who also faces charges in Rockland County, appeared in White Plains federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge George A. Yanthis Friday morning and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement Friday that Mulqueen "maliciously abused the power and reach of Facebook to call for murder -- making bloody, incendiary death threats against federally elected officials and others."
"He even provided his like-minded Facebook friends with a virtual 'how to' on the most effective weapons to use in making good on those threats," Bharara said. "The internet is a forum for free expression, but it does not give anyone carte blanche to break the law."
A Rockland County grand jury indicted him on Feb. 25 on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Mulqueen was arrested Feb. 20 after Clarkstown police received a call from his landlord, a 63-year-old woman who told them he had been harassing her, Clarkstown police said.
The FBI was called and a search warrant was obtained based on statements Mulqueen made after his arrest, police said.
When investigators searched his home, they found rifles, bayonets, ammunition, body armor, a sword and a knuckle knife. Mulqueen was charged with criminal possession of a weapon because he had multiple felony DWI convictions, police explained.
Mulqueen had posted threats on his Facebook page saying that he wanted all Obama supporters dead, including Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, calling them "traitor scum" and declaring "death to them all," police said.
Other elected officials and community leaders whom police said Mulqueen threatened included U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus.