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A DeLand man has pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge related to him threatening to kill Jews.

U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida, along with Special Agent George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, announced the news Thursday.

Hanson Richard Larkin, 26, met a person living in Miami-Dade County online around 2017, and they became friends over time, according to a news release from Sarah Schall, spokeswoman for Orshan’s office.

“On a number of occasions during the two years leading up to August 25, 2019, Larkin told this individual about his hatred of Jews,” the news release reads in part. “In 2019, Larkin repeatedly expressed his intent to travel to Miami to meet with this individual, even though the individual repeatedly urged him not to come because he did not want to meet with the defendant.”

According to the news release, Larkin traveled via train from DeLand to Miami on Aug. 24, and, the following day, he texted the individual that he was at his house, despite being told not to visit.

The news release states that Larkin then sent several threatening text messages, including:

  • “…I bought a gun with my first paycheck If I don’t meet you I will be forced to use it.”
  • “I told you how much I hate Jews right?”
  • “If meeting me for five seconds is not worth the lives of multiple Jews than I have no other option.”
  • “There’s a chabad near me. And Amtrak has no security for weapon. Don’t make me make a choice theyll regret.”
  • “Ok so then we meet and no dead Jews?”

The recipient of the messages took the threats seriously because of Larkin’s past frequent expressions of hate for Jews, the news release says, and the recipient contacted local law enforcement. Larkin returned to DeLand on Aug. 26, where he was eventually arrested.

Larkin, who has been in custody since his arrest, is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 8.

Schall said Orshan thanks the West Miami Police Department, Hialeah Police Department, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the DeLand Police Department, the FBI in Jacksonville, and the Amtrak Police Department for their assistance in this case.

— Anthony DeFeo