A Buxton man who allegedly threatened in his Twitter feed “to kill Jews with my AR-15” during the High Holy Days has been charged in federal court in Portland with transmitting threatening interstate communication.
Brian Dennison, 24, also said he was building a pipe bomb, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Portland.
He was arrested Saturday and is scheduled to make his first court appearance at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The U.S. Attorney’s office has asked that he be held without bail.
Dennison posted the threat shortly after 9 a.m. on Sept. 8, the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Almost immediately after the threats were posted, the FBI received information about them, according to a court affidavit. Agents went to the Fogg Road property Dennison shares with his parents and other family members the same day the threats were posted.
Dennison, who rents an apartment over the garage from his parents, refused to speak with the agents and asked them to leave, the affidavit said. Agents did, however, speak to his parents.
“They told us that Brian had been obsessed with Jews for about three years, and that he believed Jews were responsible for all of his problems,” the affidavit said. “They said they had many concerning conversations with Brian regarding Jews.”
The couple also said that their son owns “a few pistols and rifles, including an AR-15-style rifle” but does not keep them locked in a gun safe.
After the agents visited Dennison, he allegedly deleted his Tweets.
The next day agents returned with a warrant to seize and search Dennison’s cell phone, according to court documents.
Information about the circumstances surrounding his arrest were not available late Monday afternoon.
If convicted, Dennison faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the day of Dennison’s arrest based on an error in court documents.