The text messages Hanson Larson sent to someone in Miami were concerning, investigators said.
In one, he said, “I told you how much I hate Jews right?”
Then he followed it with: “If meeting me for five seconds is not worth the lives of multiple Jews than I have no option.”
The recipient of the texts, identified only as L.R. in court documents, handed the messages over to West Miami police. The department then contacted the FBI about the messages that seemingly were meant to convince L.R. to meet him.
In late August, Larson, 26, was arrested on a federal charge of making threats. On Wednesday, Larson pleaded guilty and is now facing up to five years in prison. The sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
According to court documents, the FBI received information from West Miami police Aug. 26 “pertaining to threatening communications made against the Jewish community.” It was not clear how or whether L.R. met Larkin, but L.R. told police that Larson “repeatedly expressed via text message his intent to travel to Miami, Florida to meet with L.R.,” an investigator wrote in the complaint.
The messages in question began Aug. 2, when Larson asked about meeting on Aug. 10. Then on Aug. 6, according to the complaint, “Larkin texted L.R. that he was going to break into his/her house and disfigure L.R.’s Barbie dolls.”
Later in the month, Larkin, through text, said he was at L.R.’s door. That’s when L.R. called police.
Among the messages investigators found: “...I bought a gun with my first paycheck. If I don’t meet you I will be forced to use it.”
Another troubling text: “There’s a Chabad near me. And Amtrak has no security for a weapon. Don’t make me make a choice they’ll regret.”
Investigators say there is a Jewish house of worship within 2.5 miles of Larson’s DeLand home. They also found multiple Jewish houses of worship in Miami-Dade, one of them about eight miles from L.R.’s home, according to the complaint.
Investigators found records that Larkin traveled to Miami on Aug. 24 by Amtrak. He left two days later. Then on Aug. 27, law enforcement officers approached him at his place of work in DeLand. He started to walk away and then was cuffed, according to the complaint.
He told investigators that he went to Miami to visit a friend and that he had a “dislike for Jewish people.” Investigators said Larkin also said he never intended on hurting anyone.