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Here's the latest for Friday, Sept. 29th: President Trump defends his administration's hurricane response; The Navy's USNS Comfort deploys for Puerto Rico; US pulls all nonessential embassy staff out of Cuba; An abandoned sea otter pup is recovering. AP

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CAMDEN - A Millville man is accused of threatening to kill Rep. Frank  LoBiondo and his congressional staff in "a bloodbath."

Joseph Brodie, 38, allegedly made the threats by phone and email on Sept. 15 and Sept. 19, the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey said Friday.

The federal prosecutor did not identify the congressman, but a spokesman for LoBiondo said his office was targeted.

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Brodie, described as a military veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, was arrested Sept. 20  by New Jersey State Police troopers conducting a well-being check at his residence, described as "a home vehicle trailer."

Brodie allegedly tried to hide from the troopers, then exited his residence with an assault rifle, according to a federal complaint.

Troopers had previously conducted well-being checks at the trailer on May 5 and Aug. 24, after a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic reported Brodie had missed appointments, according to the complaint.

The Sept. 20 incident occurred after a caller told state police that Brodie might be suicidal.

In that incident, the complaint says, Brodie began yelling phrases such as … “I don’t want to shoot you."

When troopers ordered Brodie to drop his gun, he fell to his knees, put the barrel in his mouth and pulled the trigger three times, it continues.

The gun was not loaded, the complaint says, and troopers arrested Brodie after he put the weapon down.

Brodie was initially charged with a weapons offense by the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office.

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When state police sought more information from the caller who had reported Brodie as suicidal, the unnamed woman said Brodie had sent her “erratic text messages.”

In those texts, Brodie allegedly said he expected to be investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and “he wouldn't go down without a fight.”

The witness said Brodie also vowed to shoot any police officers coming to his property.

Brodie also allegedly said that, "before he would kill himself, he intended to have a ‘bloodbath’ and kill everyone at the Republican congressman's office in New Jersey, including the congressman."

LoBiondo spokesman Jason Galanes, whom Brodie allegedly identified as a target, referred questions Friday to the U.S. Capitol Police.

A search of Brodie’s home found three rifles, two handguns and three 30-round, high-capacity magazines.

Investigators also learned Brodie had called the congressman’s office Sept. 19, trying to contact Galanes, and became increasingly agitated when he was repeatedly cut off during transfer attempts.

Brodie allegedly ended expletive-filled remarks to Galanes by saying, “You’re a dead man,” the complaint asserts.

He then allegedly sent an email to LoBiondo’s office, noting it would be easy to find through Google Earth.

"“It even shows the environment and surrounding terrain, parking lots, wooded areas, etc., (like the kind a highly trained Combat Infantryman would use)," the email said. 

Federal authorities charged Brodie on Friday with threatening to assault a U.S. official.

The charge is punishable by up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the federal prosecutor's office said.

LoBiondo, a Ventnor resident, is serving his 12th term in the sprawling 2nd District, which includes Cumberland County and parts of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.

The district also covers Atlantic, Cape May and Salem counties.

Jim Walsh; (856) 486-2646; jwalsh@gannettnj.com

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