GREENBELT, Md. – A West Virginia man pleaded guilty this week to making threats against a federal official, specifically for sending emails threatening harm to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the current Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., 56, most recently of Snowshoe, further admitted to threatening Dr. Francis Collins, the former Director of the NIH, Dr. Rachel Levine, currently the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a Massachusetts public health official and a religious leader.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek Barron and Special Agent in Charge George Adams, Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.
According to Connally’s plea agreement, from December 28, 2020 to July 25, 2021, Connally used an anonymous email account from an encrypted email service based in Switzerland, to send a series of emails to Dr. Fauci, threatening to harm and/or kill him and members of his family. One of the emails threatened that Dr. Fauci and his family would be “dragged into the street, beaten to death, and set on fire.”
As detailed in Connally’s plea agreement, also on April 24, 2021, beginning at 9:34 p.m., Connally sent Dr. Francis Collins, the then-Director of the NIH, a series of four emails threatening Dr. Collins and his family with physical assault and death if Dr. Collins did not stop speaking about the need for “mandatory” COVID-19 vaccinations.
Connally admitted that he sent the threats to Drs. Fauci and Collins with the intent to intimidate or interfere with the performance of their official duties and with the intent to retaliate against Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins for performing their official duties, including discussing COVID-19 and its testing and prevention.
Connally also admitted sending emails threatening harm to three other individuals. Connally sent a series of six threatening emails to Dr. Rachel Levine, then Secretary of Health for the State of Pennsylvania. The subject lines and body of the emails threatened Dr. Levine with physical violence and death. Similarly, Connally sent an email threatening physical violence and death for a public health official in Massachusetts. Finally, Connally sent a series of four threatening emails to four people who work for a religious institution in Newark, New Jersey. The four emails threatened physical violence and death to a religious leader there.
You can read the emails Connally sent to the officials here, in his official complaint. *The language in the emails is graphic.*
Investigators were able to tie the anonymous encrypted email account with Connally. In July 2021, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at Connally’s rental residence, at Snowshoe, and seized five laptops and two cell phones from Connally.
Connally faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis has scheduled his sentencing for August 4, 2022 at 11:30 a.m.