The 47-year-old University of Massachusetts student accused of threatening state Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, over Snyder's proposed crackdown on illegal immigration is scheduled to appear before a judge in Martin County today.
Manuel Pintado, described by friends as passionate about immigrants' rights, is accused of sending an e-mail to Snyder that said: "You better just stop that ridiculous law if you value you rand your familie's lives (expletive)."
Snyder has proposed a law similar to Arizona's controversial measure aimed at curbing illegal immigration.
Pintado is charged with corruption by threat and written threat to kill or do bodily injury and is being held on a $450,000 bond.
The unsigned Jan. 8 e-mail was sent about an hour after the assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., that killed six other people.
The Martin County Sheriff's Office said detectives determined the Jan. 8 e-mail was sent by Pintado from a Starbucks near his home in Northampton, Mass.
Pintado was arrested in Massachusetts on Jan. 31, then released on his own recognizance by a Massachusetts judge on Monday with orders to fly to Florida to face charges. The Martin County Sheriff's Office said two deputies arrested Pintado "without incident" on Wednesday morning at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers and took him to the Martin County Jail.
In its original report on Pintado's arrest, the Martin County Sheriff's Office said Pintado admitted to police in Massachusetts that he sent the e-mail. The report said Pintado described himself as a "political activist" who believed Snyder was trying to abolish the 14th Amendment, which states that all persons born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens.
The sheriff's report said Pintado told the Northampton police he didn't intend to harm Snyder, but was "glad the e-mail made him nervous."