A 21-year-old Aquebogue man arrested late last month in Penn Station after allegedly making online threats against New York City's Jewish community, has been charged with an accused co-conspirator in a multicount indictment, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg Jr. announced Wednesday.
That indictment charges Christopher Brown with making a terroristic threat as a hate crime, making a terroristic threat as a separate offense, conspiracy and various weapons charges.
The indictment charges Matthew Mahrer, 22, of Manhattan, who authorities said agreed to provide Brown with a handgun, with conspiracy and similar weapons offenses.
The two, who were arrested Nov. 18, were previously arraigned.
Brown, who was represented by a Legal Aid attorney at his arraignment, is being held without bail, according to court records. Mahrer was previously ordered held on $150,000 cash or $300,000 bond. Court records show he posted bond following his arraignment.
It was not immediately clear if either Brown or Mahrer is represented by counsel.
Authorities said that on Nov. 18 Brown posted several threatening Twitter posts, among them one that read: "Gonna ask a Priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die" — followed by a post that read: "This time I'm really gonna do it."
Court records show that Brown was arrested later as he entered Penn Station, the district attorney's office saying MTA Police recovered an 8-inch military knife, a Swastika armband and a ski mask from a backpack during the arrest. Authorities later recovered an illegal Glock 17 handgun, as well as an extended 30-round magazine and 19 rounds of ammunition from Mahrer's Manhattan apartment.
The district attorney's office said Brown paid Mahrer $650 to obtain the gun in Pennsylvania.
"A horrific tragedy was averted thanks to the diligence, hard work and coordination between my Office and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners," Bragg said in a statement, adding: "The increase in antisemitic attacks and threats cannot and will not be tolerated. "
According to court documents, Brown had acknowledged to police that he operated a white supremacist group on Twitter — and said: "Matt [Mahrer] is one of my followers."
He also police, according to those documents, "I have Nazi paraphernalia in my house," adding: "I think it is really cool."
"Protecting New Yorker is paramount, and this case illustrates the NYPD's continued commitment to fight terrorism and hate in every form," NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said in a statement Wednesday. "Through the focused, collective efforts of the NYPD and our many law enforcement partners we were able to uncover, investigate, and, most importantly, stop a threat to our Jewish community. "
With Michael O'Keeffe