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Man in Minnesota charged with threatening member of Congress

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A marijuana industry activist who said he was temporarily living in Minnesota has been charged with threatening an unnamed member of Congress, according to court documents unsealed Friday.

Jason Robert Karimi, 32, was charged earlier this month with one count of interstate communication of a threat, and he made his first court appearance Friday. According to the charges, Karimi called a U.S. representative, who is not named in court documents, on Jan. 11 and left a voicemail threatening violence.

According to the charges, Karimi said, “I want to see you as scared as possible, terrified and (defecating) your pants … we’re coming for ya.” The voicemail went on to say “we are going to cause you pain in every way possible … we’re going to end all political power you have (and) make it so you can’t even walk in anything but a wheelchair.”

The voicemail was left just five days after a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Capitol Police reviewed the voicemail, and authorities traced the number to Karimi. When an FBI agent contacted him, Karimi allegedly said, “Is this about the voicemails?” according to court documents.

The criminal complaint says Karimi admitted to leaving the voicemail but said he intended only “political pain” and he uses “political threatening” to get attention. He said that after he left the voicemail, he was afraid the Secret Service would come and get him.

Karimi allegedly told the FBI agent that he worked mostly in Iowa as a lobbyist for the marijuana industry and that he wants to lobby the U.S. government on marijuana issues. He said he planned to move to South Dakota and was staying in St. Paul with a friend temporarily.

Court documents list the Federal Defender’s Office as Karimi’s attorney, which is often the case for first appearances, but the court docket says an attorney will be appointed. A message left with the federal defender was not immediately returned.

The Star Tribune reported that Karimi has actively blogged for a website that promotes marijuana policy in Iowa called “WeedPress,” and he’s commented about the industry on local television shows there.