Benjamin Tucker Patz Facing 5 Years in Prison for Death Threats to MLB Players

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

An official major league baseball sits on the pitchers mound at Wrigley Field during the rain before a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, in Chicago, on Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

A sports gambler pleaded guilty to transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce and faces up to five years in federal prison.

The Department of Justice announced in a release Wednesday that Benjamin Tucker Patz sent direct messages to players from the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox "in which he threatened to carry out acts of violence against them."

In one series of messages to a Rays player, Patz said he would "sever your neck open" and "kill your entire family."

"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," federal prosecutors said.

Authorities tracked the IP address belonging to Patz's account and found it matched up to another Instagram account and an email address belonging to Patz.

According to the Associated Press, investigators found additional threats Patz made to two players on the New England Patriots shortly after the Patriots' victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

He allegedly made another threat against a member of the Swedish women's national soccer team after the Swedes knocked out Germany in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals and toward players from Cleveland's MLB team, the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres, the Oakland Athletics, the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals, all within roughly a year of his arrest.