A 27-year-old Kent man pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two counts of making interstate threats for his online posts threatening members of President Donald Trump’s family and Southern California media figures, and making threats to bomb synagogues.
Chase Bliss Colasurdo is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 23 by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, according to an U.S. Department of Justice news release. He faces a sentence of up to five years in prison and three years of supervised release. The FBI and Kent Police arrested Colasurdo on May 1.
According to the criminal complaint, a member of the public in March reported to the FBI concerns about Instagram and other social media posts where Colasurdo threatened to execute members of Trump’s family. Additionally, he sent messages to five media organizations that he was going to execute the family member. He posted a photo on Instagram showing a hand with a firearm pointed at the photo of a Trump family member. When initially contacted by law enforcement in March, Colasurdo claimed his social media accounts had been hacked.
Despite his statements that he was not responsible for the posts, Colasurdo continued to make threatening comments, specifically threats to members of the Jewish community. In one post, he wrote it was time to start “bombing synagogues.” Throughout April, he sent threatening email messages and online posts to media figures in Southern California using anti-Semitic slurs and threats to kill.
As law enforcement continued to track his activity, it became clear he was purchasing various items related to firearms, such as a holster, bulletproof vest and ammunition. Colasurdo attempted to purchase a firearm but was denied.
When law enforcement served search warrants at Colasurdo’s apartment, they recovered Nazi and Adolph Hitler related items, as well as ammunition, night vision goggles and a gas mask.
The FBI and U.S. Secret Service investigated the case in conjunction with an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Significant assistance was provided by the Sound Regional Violent Crimes Task Force.