Proud Boy fan from Queens pleads guilty to threatening violence at Capitol

A court sketch showing Eduard Florea and a page from the criminal complaint. (DOJ complaint/Jane Rosenberg sketch)

A Proud Boy wannabe from Queens who posted online about sending "three cars full of armed patriots" to Washington, wanting to slice someone's "throat" at the U.S. Capitol, and threatening the life of newly elected Sen. Raphael Warnock pleaded guilty Monday to charges of transmitting violent threats and illegally possessing ammunition.

Eduard Florea, 41, of Middle Village, pleaded guilty by video from federal jail in Brooklyn. At his sentencing, scheduled for Nov. 29, Florea faces up to 15 years in prison but under federal sentencing guidelines, a judge will likely order him to spend about 15 to 21 months behind bars. 

"With today's guilty plea, Florea admits to threatening the life of a successful candidate for the U.S. Senate and to urging others to take up arms to unleash violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 to thwart the results of the Presidential election," Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said in a statement.

About 580 people have been charged with federal crimes after supporters of former President Donald Trump violently broke into the Capitol to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden's victory. The uprising led to Trump's second impeachment and the start last month of congressional hearings. More than 30 people have pleaded guilty.

A message comment was left with Florea's lawyer, assistant federal public defender Mia Eisner-Grynberg. After Florea's arrest in January, she dismissed the online posts as "blather" and said he didn't condone the violence at the U.S. Capitol.

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Florea, a software engineer posting as "LoneWolfWar" on the right-wing social network Parler, wrote "the time for peace and civility is over" and "it's time to unleash some violence" as Trump's supporters stormed the halls of Congress on Jan. 6. In another post, he urged: "Kill them all... And anyone who stands in the way." 

Federal agents searching Florea's home on Jan. 12 found more than 1,000 rounds of rifle ammunition along with military-style combat knives, prosecutors said. 

Because of a prior felony gun conviction — a 2014 case that prosecutors said involved the possession of about a dozen firearms, including a machine gun and high-capacity magazines — Florea was barred from owning ammunition.