Patz, 24, faces a maximum of five years in federal prison in the plea deal. His sentencing date was not immediately set. The penalty for the crime also carries a possible fine of $250,000.
Patz sent threats to professional baseball players on the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox teams after the Rays lost at home to the Sox on July 20, 2019. Four Rays players and one Sox player received Instagram direct messages from Patz, the DOJ said. The players were not named in Wednesday's announcement.
“I will sever your neck open you pathetic c--tbag”
“I will enter your home while you sleep”
“And sever your neck open”
“I will kill your entire family”
“Everyone you love will soon cease”
“I will cut up your family” and “Dismember the[m] alive.”
“Patz sent the messages knowing that they would be viewed by the player and his family members as a true threat to injure the person of another,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
FBI agents suspected Patz sent more than 300 threatening messages to professional and college athletes and their families, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Wednesday’s plea agreement only pertained to the Rays-White Sox incidents.
WTVT-TV reported in 2020 that after Patz lost $10,000 by betting on the Los Angeles Rams to beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII in 2019, Patz sent messages to two Patriots players claiming that he would “rape and murder their families,” an indictment said.