A California man was charged Friday with threatening to kill the family of Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, over the repeal of net neutrality rules, the Justice Department said.
The man, Markara Man of Norwalk, is accused of sending three emails to Mr. Pai that included the death threats as well as a photo of the family. In one email, Mr. Man referenced three locations of the town where the Pai family lives.
Mr. Man, according to the F.B.I., sent the emails on Dec. 19 and 20 last year. Agents confronted Mr. Man at his home in Norwalk in May and he admitted sending the emails because he was “angry” about the repeal of net neutrality regulations and sought to intimidate Mr. Pai, the F.B.I. said.
The arrests come after a swell of consumer protests over Mr. Pai’s decision last November to roll back rules meant to protect the equal treatment of content online, a policy often called net neutrality. F.C.C. officials have said Mr. Pai received multiple death threats against him and his family over many months.
Mr. Man is being charged with threatening to murder a member of the immediate family of a United States official with the intent to intimidate or interfere with that official’s ability to perform his duties. If convicted, Mr. Man faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
An F.C.C. spokeswoman said the agency does not comment on law enforcement matters.