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Westminster man pleads guilty to threatening a member of Congress

Darryl Albert Varnum, 43, of Westminster, pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to the federal charge of making a threatening communication, specifically to threatening a member of Congress, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 20 at 3 p.m. Varnum faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, although actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties, according to the release.

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“We take violent threats extremely seriously," U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur is quoted as saying in the release. “The investigation began immediately upon learning of the threats."

Varnum, formerly of the 300 block of Barnes Avenue, was arrested on July 8 and subsequently indicted. According to his plea agreement, on June 26, Varnum called the office of a member of Congress which was located in Florida and left a voicemail message in which he threatened to murder the member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who supported legislation that Varnum opposed.

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According to previous Times reporting, the transcript of the voicemail available in a criminal complaint filed July 5 in federal court reads: “I’m gonna kill your a-- if you do that bill. I swear. I will f------ come down and kill your f------ a--. And you’re a Congressperson, that is fine. I hope the f------ FBI, CIA, and everybody else hears this s---. If you’re taking away my rights. This is the United States of America, b----. Get the f--- out. I will come down there and personally f------ kill you. I am dead f------ serious. I wanna see you motherf------ at my door, if you’re legit. That HR bill you just pushed through, ah f--- you. I’ll tell you what I’ll come down to Miami b----. I’ll f--- you up. Like Cubans don’t even know.”

The cell phone number used to record the voicemail belonged to Varnum, according to the complaint, which also noted that Varnum had a .45-caliber Ruger pistol registered to him.

The complaint also noted that Varnum was employed by Sealing Technologies and had been working as a contractor at the Defense Information Systems Agency at Fort Meade, where his job “requires him to have access to sensitive information.”

In the complaint, Capitol Police noted that Varnum posted a “photograph of an American flag and the words ‘H.R. 2527 Vaccinate All Children Act’” on his Facebook page shortly after leaving the voicemail, adding, “Holocaust has begun! I’m done with this bull----. Time to step up or ship out!”

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Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who is prosecuting the case, in Friday’s release.

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