A Billings man was charged this week with threatening to murder Montana Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and President Joe Biden, according to an indictment unsealed in federal court.
Anthony James Cross was indicted on two counts related to the threats on Sept. 14 – threats to injure and murder a U.S. senator and threats against the president, according to a redacted indictment. He made his initial court appearance on Tuesday.
Each count carries penalties of several years in prison and thousands in potential fines if Cross is found guilty. He pleaded not guilty to both counts in a court appearance on Tuesday in Billings.
The full details of the allegations against Cross remain under seal. But the redacted indictment says that Cross threatened to kill Tester on April 17 in Billings. It says that a week earlier, Cross had stated, “I want to personally kill Joe Biden.”
After his Tuesday court appearance, Cross was remanded to custody in Yellowstone County pending his next court appearance at the government’s request. The judge in the case set a trial date of Nov. 27 in the case.
Cross just weeks ago pleaded not guilty to assault with a weapon in Yellowstone County after he also in April allegedly pointed a pellet gun at a woman walking her dog, the Billings Gazette reported. The newspaper reported the Federal Bureau of Investigation had flagged some of Cross’s online comments as being threatening in nature, including a threat toward Biden.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana said Wednesday the FBI had also conducted the investigation into the alleged threats Cross made.
Another news report from KTVQ from 2019 noted that Cross was charged with several felonies and misdemeanors after a standoff with Billings police, and that officers seized five guns from his home.
This is the second time this year that a Montana man has been charged with threatening to kill Tester. In May, a Kalispell man pleaded guilty to one count of threatening to murder Tester stemming from phone calls he made in January. He was sentenced in August to 30 months in prison.
A spokesperson for Tester’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.