A Waterville man who allegedly threatened in online posts to kill President Biden, other politicians and immigrants has been arrested by the FBI.

Benjamin Brown

Benjamin Brown, 45, of 10 Spring St., used YouTube comments over the past several years to make threats toward elected officials and immigrants and claimed he was stockpiling weapons in preparation for a violent civil war in the U.S., according to a criminal complaint and probable cause affidavit filed in court by Jonathan Duquette, an FBI task force officer.

The criminal complaint with the affidavit attached was unsealed Monday when Brown was arrested in Waterville on the warrant related to that complaint. None of the documents indicate whether any weapons were discovered or seized by authorities who searched his apartment.

Brown made an initial appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor on charges of transmitting a threatening interstate communication in violation of federal law.

“I have thought an awful lot about killing Joe Biden!!” Brown allegedly wrote in a post on Feb. 16, 2021. “I can’t wait for a revolution so we can burn Washington to the (expletive) ground!!!”

The 13-page affidavit details a number of threats allegedly made by Brown dating back to 2021, but the most recent threats reportedly were made last month.


In a post about a month ago, Brown allegedly wrote that he was “going to go out and buy an AR-15” in preparation for a revolution, while claiming that he and others “have every legal right to kill” illegal immigrants “and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

In court Tuesday, Benjamin Brown was appointed an attorney, Donald Brown, and waived a preliminary hearing, according to the court employee. He is being detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday, she said.

Kristen Setera, spokeswoman for the FBI Boston Division that covers Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, said Tuesday in an email that Benjamin Brown was taken into custody without incident Monday. She provided copies of the charging documents, but said her office declined further comment because it is a pending matter before the court and referred further questions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

FBI agents were seen working Monday on The Concourse, a large parking area in downtown Waterville, as well as at Elm Plaza, a parking lot and shopping mall off upper Main Street in the city. Waterville police would not confirm whether that was related to the Brown case, with Waterville police Chief William Bonney saying in an email that it was not his department’s case and recommending contacting the FBI.


On March 21, 2021, the National Threat Operations Center Social Media Exploitation Team received a voluntary disclosure from Google LLC’s CyberCrime Investigation Group indicating that a Google-YouTube user called “push een” had posted comments on YouTube threatening to kill Democratic politicians and others, the affidavit says.


Google provided information identifying Benjamin Brown as the user.

On March 22, 2021, an FBI agent and U.S. Secret Service agent tried to make contact with Brown at his last known addresses on Gold Street and Spring Street in Waterville but were unsuccessful. On April 2 that year, a U.S. Secret Service agent interviewed Brown at his Spring Street apartment where Brown initially denied making the YouTube comments but then acknowledged he may have done so, and said he “often gets frustrated by current events and makes exaggerated, hyperbolic posts,” according to the affidavit. He also told the agent he has Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder that can cause sudden outbursts. At the end of the interview, Brown was cooperative and apologetic for writing the comments, according to the affidavit. The FBI closed its investigation that year and referred the case to the U.S. Secret Service.

Then in April 2023, the FBI got another voluntary emergency disclosure from Google indicating threats were made, on an account associated with Brown, to kill George Soros. Violent threats also were made against members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Mexican politicians.

Duquette’s affidavit says he and another special FBI agent interviewed a man Duquette believed to be Brown on April 13 last year at his Spring Street apartment. Brown told them he was only “venting,” is a peaceful person and claimed to own no firearms. The investigation was again closed.


On Feb. 20 this year, the FBI received disclosures from Google about an account associated with Brown and comments making threats toward immigrants and elected officials and saying he was “stockpiling weapons in preparation for a violent civil war in the United States.”


FBI special agents tried to interview Brown that day but the man who answered wouldn’t open the door, though agents believed it was Brown. Again, the man presumed to be Brown acknowledged to agents that he made the posts but said he wasn’t making threats toward others and he wasn’t a violent person.

“The male also said that he did not own a gun and that he would only defend himself if he was threatened. The male believed to be Brown said he would stop posting on YouTube so the agents would not have to come back. The male also acknowledged that agents had admonished him before about making threats,” according to the affidavit.

Duquette got a search warrant for both Brown and his residence and determined there was probable cause to believe he committed the offense of interstate threatening communication, according to the affidavit.

“Based on the foregoing, I submit that probable cause exists to believe that on or about February 8, 2024, Benjamin Brown knowingly, willfully, and recklessly transmitted in interstate commerce a communication containing a threat to injure the person of another,” it says.

In that Feb. 8 post threatening to hunt and gun down immigrants, Brown allegedly boasted that no one could stop him, “not the FBI, not the local police.”

The application for the search warrant asks to seize firearms and explosive devices, all evidence and records relating to use of the Google accounts, information about firearms and explosives, computers or storage media and other items.

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