Sports Bettor Benjamin Tucker Patz Charged with Threatening Rays Players

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 4, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - APRIL 16: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays runs back to the dugout during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on April 16, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Benjamin Tucker Patz, a New York and California-based sports bettor, has been charged with transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce stemming from when he used Instagram to send direct messages to players for the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox in 2019.

Per the official filing from the United States Attorney's Office, charges were brought after a criminal complaint was filed against Patz for making "numerous threats to carry out violence against professional athletes and/or their family members via Instagram messages, using anonymous accounts."

Patz allegedly sent direct messages to four Rays players and one White Sox player on Instagram using anonymous accounts in which he threatened to behead them or members of their family. 

The alleged threats were made after a game between the White Sox and Rays on July 20, 2019. 

In addition to allegedly writing he would behead the players and/or members of their family, Patz also used "derogatory terms and racial slurs" in the messages. According to the complaint, the messages he allegedly sent included the following: 

"Your family's necks will be severed open with a dull knife!...Your family will die!"

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"Unfortunately 0-5 against the Chicago White Sox isn't going to cut it. Because of your sins, I will have to behead you and your family"

Per Darren Rovell of The Action Network, Patz recently won a total of $1.1 million through a series of parlays over the course of less than two months from Oct. 27-Dec. 7. 

Patz, 23, is facing up to five years in federal prison if he is convicted.