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Mass. man arrested, accused of threatening Fla. lawmaker

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Manuel Pintado is awaiting extradition to Florida
  • He is accused of sending a threatening e-mail to Florida Rep. William Snyder
  • Police: Pintado believed Snyder was trying to abolish the 14th Amendment

(CNN) -- A Massachusetts man was arrested in connection with a threatening e-mail sent to a Florida state representative, authorities said Tuesday.

Manuel E. Pintado, 47, was arrested Monday in Northampton, Massachusetts, the Martin County, Florida, Sheriff's Office said in a statement. He faces charges of corruption by threat, a third-degree felony, and written threat to kill or do bodily injury, a second-degree felony.

Rep. William Snyder contacted the Martin County Sheriff's Office January 9 about the e-mail he had received the previous day, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The unsigned e-mail, as written, said, "To the honorable William D. Snyder: You better just stop that ridiculous law if you value you rand your familie's lives (expletive)."

Authorities were able to determine the e-mail was sent by Pintado, police said. It was sent using a public access wireless connection at a Starbucks located a few blocks from Pintado's residence, according to the sheriff's office.

Northampton police interviewed Pintado at the request of Florida authorities, and he described himself as a "political activist," the sheriff's office said. He told police he was concerned Pintado was trying to abolish the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to all people born in the United States.

Pintado said he meant no physical harm to Snyder, but "added he was glad the e-mail made him nervous," the statement said.

Snyder said in a statement Tuesday he was grateful to authorities in Florida and Massachusetts for their action against "an individual who made a threat directed at me and members of my family ... I am thankful that the individual is in custody and will be brought to justice."

Investigators found that Pintado traveled from Massachusetts to Florida in December, "giving him the ability to carry out a threat against Representative Snyder," police said.

Authorities obtained a warrant for Pintado's arrest. He lists his occupation as a student at the University of Massachusetts, and "has a history of multiple arrests in the Northeast," authorities said.

Pintado was in the Hampshire County House of Corrections on Tuesday pending extradition to Florida, police said. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

CNN's Anna Rhett Miller and Vivian Kuo contributed to this report.