TAMPA, Fla. (AP) A New York sports gambler is facing federal charges in Florida related to threatening social media messages sent to players with the Tampa Bay Rays and other teams, federal authorities said Wednesday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa announced a charge of transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce against Benjamin Tucker Patz, 23. He faces up to five years in federal prison.
Patz made numerous violent threats last year against athletes and their family members through anonymous Instagram accounts, according to a criminal complaint. In many messages, Patz threatened to enter the athletes' homes and behead them or their family members, the FBI said. Some of Patz's threats also contained derogatory terms and racial slurs, investigators said.