On Tuesday October 25th, police stated that a Los Angeles man charged with making terrorist threats to the Islamic Center of Los Angeles was found with nine handguns and 250 pounds of ammunition last week. The man, Mark Lucian Feigin, was arrested last week and has recently been released on bail. His case is being investigated as a hate crime.
According to police, a call was made by Feigin to the Islamic Center on September 19th, during which Feigin left a nasty voice mail. The next day, he called and threatened to kill people at the center. Police also believe that Feigin had been posting hateful messages on social media.
Some of the weapons police discovered at Feigin’s home were registered to the suspect, while others were registered to different people. Police are not sure whether Feigin actually meant to carry out the threats, or if he was just trying to frighten people. The suspect is not the only person who has called and left threatening voice mails, however when he threatened to kill people, it became a crime.
Terrorist threats (sometimes referred to as criminal threats) are covered under California Penal Code 422 PC. In order to be charged with this crime, one must threaten to kill or physically harm someone and:
- Put the recipient of the threat in a reasonable state of fear for their safety or that of their family
- The threat must be specific and unequivocal
- The threat was communicated verbally, in writing, or via some electronic means
It doesn’t matter whether or not a person has the means to carry out the threat that they make; simply making the threat is enough.
422 PC is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor charges carry the possible penalties of up to 1 year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Felony charges carry the possible penalties of up to 3 years in California state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.