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| Crime |

Jack Daniel's-Swiggin' TikTok "Patriot" Arrested for Threatening FBI Agents

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Palming a bottle of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire, Palm Beach County resident Suzanne Ellen Kaye filmed a TikTok video last month explaining that she was on the FBI's radar after allegedly taking a trip to Washington, D.C., on the date of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

"Hi friends. I'm here to let you know I need to drink," Kaye said before taking a swig from the bottle. "Just got a call from the FBI. They want to come talk to me about my visit to D.C. on January 6th."

Kaye, a Trump-loving conservative who describes herself on social media as an "angry patriot hippie," wasn't too happy about that.

"I'm an American. I know my fucking rights," she said in the video. "My First Amendment rights to free speech, my Second Amendment right to carry a gun, to shoot your fucking ass if you come to my house. So fuck you!"

Three weeks after posting the video to TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, Kaye is now facing a federal criminal charge for making an interstate communication threatening to injure another person.

The criminal complaint states that when FBI agents called Kaye, to inquire about her travel to the nation's capital on January 6, she denied that she'd made the trip but said she knew of others who had gone.

"Kaye agreed to speak with the FBI... [and] further indicated that she was retired and had plenty of time to talk, but would prefer to be interviewed at her residence because she was not able to drive," the complaint reads.

Subsequently, the agents stated, they learned of Kaye's TikTok video.

"In this video, Kaye announced that she received a telephone call from the FBI asking about her travel to Washington D.C.," the complaint states. "Kaye then told her audience in the video that she will not talk to the FBI without counsel, and that she will exercise 'my Second Amendment right to shoot your fucking ass if you come here,' implying that she will use violence against FBI agents if they come to her residence."

The FBI agents concluded there was probable cause for Kaye's arrest.

In an email to New Times, Kaye's federal public defender, Kristy Militello, described Kaye's remarks as protected free speech.

"We will vigorously defend Ms. Kaye’s First Amendment right to express herself on social media and against this alleged crime," Militello said. "We look forward to presenting her defense at the appropriate time in court."

Kaye, who has 4,700 followers on TikTok and just shy of 1,600 likes, posted her first video back in November. Her TikToks show her smoking a bowl and playing with her dog. In one video of the pup chewing on a toy, Kaye conjured up an image of the dog attacking anti-fascists.

"Hey, antifa! This is my American patriot dog, and this is your leg. Get it?" she narrated.

In other videos, Kaye identified herself as a poll worker in Palm Beach County, at one point holding up her training manual.

The Palm Beach County elections office confirms that Kaye worked the polls last year.

Kaye's next court appearance is March 3. If convicted of the charge, she faces up to five years in federal prison.

This story has been updated to include a response from Kaye's attorney.

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