Security Guard Pleads Not Guilty to Obama Threat Charges

He made threatening comments about the president the night before he was flying to the Garden State

By Eric Luu
|  Thursday, Oct 22, 2009  |  Updated 3:07 PM EDT
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Security Guard Pleads Not Guilty to Obama Threat Charges

Essex County Sheriff's Department

John Brek, 55, was charged with making a terroristic threat against President Barack Obama.

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The private Newark Airport security guard accused of making threats the night before President Barack Obama was set to fly to New Jersey has pleaded not guilty to charges of making terroristic threats against the president.

A Continental Airlines employee overheard John Brek say he could "cut a hole in a fence to be able to shoot" President Obama, officials said.

Brek was arraigned today --and said nothing when he appeared via video in a Newark courtroom.  Bail was doubled to $200,000.

Obama came to the Garden State Wednesday to help Gov. Jon Corzine’s campaign for governor.

The Port Authority Police arrested and charged Brek Wednesday under state law with making threats to the president but has not been charged with federal counts, U.S. Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Willey said, NBC New York reported previously.

Brek denied making threats to the president, Wiley added.

He gave authorities permission to search his Linden, N.J., home, and police found 43 firearms, Kelly said. He is an avid hunter, his father John said, explaining why there were so many guns.

“We take every threat seriously,” Wiley said. “We don’t have the luxury of ignoring even the allegation of a threat.”

Air Force One made a safe landing Wednesday just after 5 p.m. at the New Jersey airport under heavy security. A countless number of Port Authority office and Secret Service agents were present at the scene. Sharpshooters were on nearby rooftops ready to take down any threats.

Brek worked at FJC Security Service Inc., a Floral Park based security company , a firm that checks whether airport employees have the qualifications, Wiley said. The company had a contract with the Port Authority.

Brek’s bail has been set at $100,000. Paul Loriquet, the Essex’s County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman, said he faces years behind bars for the third degree felony charges.

Executive vice president of FJC, Patrick J. Conroy, said the company is cooperating with authorities who are investigating the charges. Brek has been assigned to Newark Airport for most of his six years with the company, the vice president said. 

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