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Federal charges: MN marijuana lobbyist threatened U.S. representative

"I want you to be as scared as possible," the voicemail allegedly says.

A Minnesota man is facing trial in a federal court over a voicemail that contained "graphic threats of violence" against a U.S. congressperson.

The U.S. Attorney's Office of Minnesota on Friday announced a charge of "interstate communication of a threat" against Jason Robert Karimi, 32, a self-identified marijuana lobbyist who lives in St. Paul.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendant called the office of a U.S. representative on January 11, leaving a voicemail in which he said, "I want you to be as scared as possible" and "we're coming for ya."

The caller also threatened to "cause you pain in every way possible" and "make it so you can't even walk in anything but a wheelchair," court documents say. He also accused the congressperson's brother of pedophilia. 

(The transcription for the call is available in the criminal charges, but be warned that it contains lewd and offensive language).

The voicemail ended up in the hands of the U.S. Capitol Police and was soon tracked to the defendant's number. Investigators met with him outside his apartment on the 1300 block of Grand Avenue, where he identified himself as an "activist/lobbyist for the Marijuana industry" who mostly works in Iowa but "wishes to eventually lobby to the U.S. Government."

According to the charges, he admitted to leaving the voicemail with the intention of causing "political pain" to the congressperson's career but not their "physical self."

He also told investigators that he has left other such voicemails, providing one example where he told a lawyer he would "rip out his son's guts" and feed it to the son. 

Karimi also told authorities that he makes such calls to "illicit a response in order to get noticed more." 

He faces up to years in prison as well as fines if he's found guilty. The representative he's accused of threatening has not been identified. 

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