A Queens, New York, Proud Boys fan pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to one count of transmitting threats to injure and one count of possessing ammunition after having been convicted of a felony.
Upon sentencing, 41-year-old Eduard Florea faces up to 15 years in prison.
“With today’s guilty plea, Florea admits to threatening the life of a successful candidate for the U.S. Senate and to urging others to take up arms to unleash violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 to thwart the results of the Presidential election,” said Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “This Office is deeply committed to protecting our democratic institutions and to using all available tools to preserve the public safety, uphold the rule of law and support the peaceful transfer of power.”
Florea posted violent threats against Congress and Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock preceding and during the Jan. 6 insurrection under the name LoneWolfWar on the Parler app. He also stated that he and others needed to “go armed and “really take back Washington” amid the certifying of the 2020 presidential election results.
On Jan. 5, the night before the riot, Florea wrote, “Tomorrow may very [well] be the day war kicks off.” Hours later he added, “Warnock is going to have a hard time casting votes for communist policies when he’s swinging with the f—ing fish.” The on the day of the riot, Florea reference Warnock and said, “Dead men can’t pass sh-t laws…”
Then, during and after the riot, Florea made multiple direct references to traveling to the Capitol heavily armed, saying he was “armed and ready to deploy,” adding, “Guns cleaned loaded.”
A Jan. 12 FBI raid of Florea’s home revealed he illegally possessed more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition after previously being convicted of a firearms felony in New York state. The search also yielded about 75 military-style combat knives, two hatchets and two swords at the home Florea shared with his children. Florea is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 29. Under sentencing guidelines, Florea will likely spend 15 to 21 months behind bars.
Florea previously applied to join the Proud Boys but was rejected because he hadn’t attended enough meetings at the time.
Florea’s wife of six years, Joni Florea, told the New York Post she intended to divorce him after learning about the accusations.
“I totally believe that he plotted to do this,” she said “The only thing I was concerned about were my children. Eduard only cared about the Proud Boys.”
She said her husband “really wanted to go” and take part in the Jan. 6 insurrection but his ride did not show up.