Man Charged With Threatening President Pleads To Lesser Counts

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NEWARK – A Linden resident who was arrested last month for allegedly threatening to shoot President Barack Obama pleaded guilty to lesser charges, authorities said. He is expected to be released from jail this week, authorities said.

John Brek, 55, a security guard at Newark Liberty International Airport, pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment in connection with the Oct. 20 incident, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

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The harassment counts are a significant reduction from the original felony charges Brek faced: making terroristic threats and possessing a rifle stolen from Alabama. If convicted on the top charge, Brek faced up to five years in prison.

The harrassment charges carry a 30-day maximum sentence, and Brek is likely to receive credit for time served, accoridng to authorities.

Brek was arrested because two airline employees alerted police to statements Brek allegedly made at the airport lunch truck about cutting a hole in a fence to shoot the president.

When pleading guilty last week, Brek said that he made statements concerning holes in a black cloth that was draped over a security fence put up where Air Force One would park, according to his attornery. Brek told the two men the holes in the cloth would give someone who wanted to shoot the president a clear view, the lawyer said.

Brek’s attornery said his client “didn’t agree to any language that he threatened to kill the president.”

He also denied that Brek knew that one of the rifles in his gun collection had been stolen out of Alabama.


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