A 43-year-old man from Monmouth County was sentenced on Friday to six months in Ocean County for threatening the Lakewood Jewish community and Gov. Phil Murphy via social media posts, authorities said.
Anthony Lodespoto of Howell pleaded guilty on Aug.10 to bias intimidation before Superior Court Judge Guy P. Ryan, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.
Lodespoto has been held in Ocean County Jail ever since his March 27 arrest, Billhimer said. Ryan also ordered that Lodespoto serve 18 months on probation.
The Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau was told on March 26 that Lodespoto had made threatening statements via the direct messaging feature of Facebook against the Jewish community of Lakewood, Nolan said.
The next day, detectives were told by New Jersey State Police that Lodespoto sent a similar message to the Facebook account of Gov. Murphy, according to the first assistant prosecutor.
In his social media messages, Lodespoto is accused of "threatening to travel to Lakewood with the purpose of assaulting members of the Jewish community with a baseball bat," Nolan said on Monday.
Nolan thanked Assistant Prosecutor Shanon Chant-Berry who handled the case, as well as the Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau and New Jersey State Police for their help.
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