Man charged with making death threats to Md. synagogue

A man is facing federal charges after making threatening phone calls to a synagogue in Baltimore County, Maryland, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A federal grand jury indicted 64-year-old Stephen Orback on Thursday.

Orback allegedly threatened the Rosh Pina Messianic Congregation in Owings Mills.

“We all need to remain vigilant,” said Baltimore County Councilman Izzy Patoka who represents the area. “We live in a day in age where our places of worship are at risk.”

According to the indictment, Orback made multiple phone calls to an employee of a synagogue May 12 and May 13, threatening to kill many members of that Messianic Jewish congregation.

No initial court date has been scheduled yet.

If convicted, Orback faces up to five years in prison.

“Our police commanders took the appropriate action and they’re working with federal authorities,” Patoka said. “In this case, we averted what could potentially have been something far worse.”

Orback is currently in custody in Colorado after being charged with assaulting a police officer in Jefferson County, Colorado.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert Hur and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone of Baltimore’s FBI field office.

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