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Federal officials indict Michigan man accused of threatening Jewish government officials

(CBS DETROIT) - A Michigan man accused of threatening to kill Jewish state government officials was indicted, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

Federal officials say Jack Eugene Carpenter III, 41, of Tipton, Michigan, faces up to five years in prison if convicted and is subject to a Hate Crime Motivation penalty enhancement under federal sentencing guidelines. 

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Carpenter posted the threat on Twitter on Feb. 17 while he was in Texas.

The indictment alleges he threatened to come back to Michigan and "carry out the punishment of death to anyone that is Jewish in the Michigan govt if they don't leave, or confess." The Indictment also alleges he intentionally selected Jewish officials because of the "actual and perceived religion of those individuals."

"Hate and bias-related crimes poison our communities and make people afraid simply because of who they are or what they believe," said U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison in a press release. "We will not tolerate such actions, and we will prosecute those who engage in them to the fullest extent of the law."

Although court documents did not reference her by name, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a tweet last week that she was among the targets.

"The FBI has confirmed I was a target of the heavily armed defendant in this matter. It is my sincere hope that the federal authorities take this offense just as seriously as my Hate Crimes & Domestic Terrorism Unit takes plots to murder elected officials," Nessel said.

Carpenter is currently in detention pending trial.

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