"Wannabe" Nazis Who Threatened NYC Synagogues Indicted, DA Bragg Announces - The Jewish Voice
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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

“Wannabe” Nazis Who Threatened NYC Synagogues Indicted, DA Bragg Announces

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., announced the indictment of CHRISTOPHER BROWN for terroristic threats to the Jewish community in Manhattan, who with MATTHEW MAHRER, conspired to possess a firearm as part of this planned attack. BROWN and MAHRER were both arrested at Penn Station on November 18th. MTA police recovered a knife, a Swastika armband and a ski mask from BROWN’s backpack. A backpack containing a firearm, extended magazine and 19 rounds of ammunition was recovered from MAHRER’s apartment.

Both BROWN and MAHRER are each charged in a New York Supreme Court Indictment with one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree; two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree; one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree; and one count of Criminal Possession of a Firearm. BROWN is additionally charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree as a Crime of Terrorism; one count of Making a Terroristic Threat; one count of Making a Terroristic Threat as a Hate Crime; and one Count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree.

“A horrific tragedy was averted thanks to the diligence, hard work and coordination between my Office and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners. The increase in antisemitic attacks and threats cannot and will not be tolerated. Manhattanites and all New Yorkers should know that we continue to vigorously prosecute hate crimes every day and are using every tool at our disposal to address hate and bias,” said District Attorney Bragg.

“Protecting all New Yorkers is paramount, and this case illustrates the NYPD’s continued commitment to fight terrorism and hate in every form,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “Through the focused, collective efforts of the NYPD and our many law enforcement partners we were able to uncover, investigate, and, most importantly, stop a threat to our Jewish community. We will never tolerate hate in our city, and we vow to hold accountable anyone who threatens the safety and security of our diverse population.”

November 18, BROWN posted several threatening Twitter posts, including “Gonna ask a Priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die,” and ‘This time I’m really gonna do it.”

In furtherance of this plot, BROWN allegedly paid MAHRER $650 to obtain a firearm in Pennsylvania, which was eventually recovered in the backpack at MAHRER’S apartment.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Investigative Counsel Edward Burns and Assistant D.A. Bonnie Seok, under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Mike Ohm (Rackets Bureau Deputy Chief), Judy Salwen (Rackets Bureau Principal Deputy Chief), Jodie Kane (Rackets Bureau Chief), Christopher Conroy (Senior Advisor to the Investigation Division) and Executive Assistant D.A. Susan Hoffinger (Investigation Division Chief). Assistant D.A. David Stuart, Supervisor of the Counter Terrorism Program, initiated the prosecution, in partnership with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau. In addition, Ryan Rittenberg (Counterterrorism Program Director), Catherine Schreck (Counter Terrorism Program Analyst), Christine McNeil (Counter Terrorism Program Analyst), Trial Preparation Assistant Tyler Lopez, Steven Moran (High Technology Analyst Unit Director), and Douglas Daus (Supervising Computer Forensic Analyst) assisted with the case.

DA Bragg thanked Detective Richard Schneider and Lieutenant David Cuce of the NYPD Intelligence Bureau; Officers Ryan Fackner and Connor Calasurdo of the MTA Police; Detective Jeronnie Glanville of the Joint Terrorism Task Force; and Special Agent Nathan Rudnick of the FBI.

Defendant Information:

CHRISTOPHER BROWN
Aquebogue, New York

Charged:

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, a class B felony, two counts

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts

Making a Terroristic Threat as a Hate Crime, a class C felony, one count

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, one count

Making a Terroristic Threat, a class D felony, one count

Criminal Possession of a Firearm, a class E felony, one count

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, class E felony, one countCriminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count

MATTHEW MAHRER
New York, New York

Charged:
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, one count
Criminal Possession of a Firearm, a class E felony, one count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, class E felony, one count

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