Philadelphia Man Charged for Death Threat Against Cantor
Updated: 3:37 p.m.
A 38-year-old Philadelphia man was charged Monday with threatening to kill House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and his family after posting a YouTube video in which he said, among other things, “You receive my bullets,” according to the Department of Justice.
The U.S. attorney in Philadelphia charged Norman LeBoon with knowingly and willfully threatening to assault and kill a United States official, a felony.
LeBoon will appear later Monday in front of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he will be charged with two felony counts: knowingly and willfully threatening to assault and kill a U.S. official, and posting such a threat on the Internet.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines up to $500,000.
Earlier this month, LeBoon allegedly posted a video on YouTube saying, “My Congressman Eric Cantor, and you and your cupcake evil wife. … Remember Eric … our judgment time, the final Yom Kippur, has been given. You are a liar, you’re a Lucifer, you’re a pig, a greedy f—ing pig, you’re an abomination, you receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer’s abominations.”
Google Inc., which owns YouTube, provided the FBI with the IP address from which the video was posted. It was traced to LeBoon’s Philadelphia home. The video has been removed.
On Saturday, FBI officials arrested LeBoon. According to the arresting agent’s deposition, LeBoon admitted to creating the video. LeBoon also said he has made more than 2,000 other videos in which he made threats, according to the FBI.
A YouTube channel identified with the name Norman LeBoon Sr. carries hundreds of videos dating as far back as 10 months ago. They show a white male, claiming to be the Messiah, making threats against CNN and Israel, among other entities.
“LeBoon further stated that he is the son of the god of Enoch’ and that his father speaks through him,” according to the deposition. “LeBoon stated that Eric Cantor is pure evil’; will be dead; and that Cantor’s family is suffering because of his father’s wrath.”
LeBoon has two outstanding warrants, according to Philadelphia Municipal Court records. One is for terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. The other is for disorderly conduct. Both are from 2009.
The arrest comes after a Tuesday incident in which a bullet pierced the window of a Richmond building that houses Cantor’s campaign office. Richmond police deemed it to be the result of random gunfire. Several Members have reported receiving threats and abuse surrounding the debate on and passage of health care reform.
Cantor’s office issued a statement today:
“Over the weekend, Congressman Cantor was notified by law enforcement that a threat was made against his life. Law enforcement officials informed Congressman Cantor that the threat was determined as credible and they were responding accordingly. The Congressman was later notified that an arrest was made and a suspect was in custody.”
Cantor declined further comment, and his statement referred all other inquiries to the FBI.
“The Congressman is deeply grateful for, and would like to dearly thank all local and federal law enforcement involved, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Attorney’s Office in Virginia and Philadelphia, U.S. Capitol Police and the Henrico Police Department in Virginia,” the statement added.
“The Department of Justice takes threats against government officials seriously, especially threats to kill or injure others,” U.S. Attorney Michael Levy said. “Whether the reason for the threat is personal or political, threats are not protected by the First Amendment and are crimes.”