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South Florida man charged with sending online messages with threats of murder and rape

A Homestead man accused of sending online messages to two people with threats of murder and rape will find out at a detention hearing Tuesday whether he will be freed before trial or remain behind bars.

Matthew James Choy, 33, was arrested last week by the FBI on charges of transmitting interstate threats to injure other persons, and is being held at the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami. Choy, who is being represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office, faces arraignment in early April.

The FBI says it first received a tip from a witness about the alleged threats on Feb. 20, noting the messages contained “racially motivated violence.”

According to a criminal complaint, Choy is accused of sending the threats via his Facebook messenger account to the two people who live outside Florida between March 3 and March 16. Homestead police knocked on Choy’s door on March 11 under the guise of conducting a child welfare check, the complaint affidavit says. Choy responded that he had lived at the address for 10 years.

The two recipients of the alleged threats indicated they had known Choy dating back to 2010 but had a falling out with him, according to the affidavit. They also told FBI agents that they had reported the online threats to police and sought restraining orders.

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Choy wrote one person that he knew he was “probably being investigated,” that if he was going to jail then “someone is getting killed,” and that he would not be going to jail “for anything less than murder,” according to the affidavit.

In another instance, Choy wrote the second person that if he had to “slaughter a family so be it,” and that if he had to “make a pit stop to rape and kill your sister so be it,” the affidavit says.

In his messages, Choy admitted to owning firearms, the affidavit says.

Choy had his initial federal court appearance last Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lauren F. Louis in Miami, and his detention hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

This story was originally published March 23, 2020 2:32 PM.

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