U.S.A. (NBC) (06/26/20)— A man who federal prosecutors said threatened online to kill a Florida woman and called for the “extermination” of all Latinos has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Eric Lin, age 35, was arrested in Seattle in August and pleaded guilty in January to knowingly and intentionally transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce, officials said.
In the direct messages to the woman, who worked at a South Florida restaurant Lin had frequented, Lin sent more than 150 pages of threatening messages.
The direct messages included threats to kill her and her family, according to a criminal complaint FBI affidavit.
The messages from Lin’s accounts also talked about a “race war,” said he followed Adolph Hitler, expressed support for President Donald Trump, and accused the woman of being “anti-American,” according to a criminal complaint.
Lin wrote in one message that he would not stop until the “Latin race is racially exterminated” and discussed killing Latinos in Miami and elsewhere, prosecutors said.
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced Lin to five years in prison, the maximum allowed under the charge he pleaded to, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said in a statement.
The victim is from Spain. She told the FBI that while the Facebook accounts were under assumed names, she believed they were from Lin because they matched things he had said in the restaurant about Hitler and mass shootings, according to court documents.
Lin admitted to investigators that the two Facebook accounts used in the abuse and threats were his, an affidavit says. He was arrested in Seattle, but prosecutors say he is from Clarksburg, Maryland.
An emailed request for comment to Lin’s attorney was not immediately returned Thursday night.
Lin’s father wrote in a letter to the judge before sentencing that his son is not violent but “likes bluffing” and talking outlandishly on the internet, and that he “previously had emotional problems with girls but he never used any physical violence.”
Lin’s father also apologized to the victim and her family.