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Sports Gambler Charged With Threatening Rays Players, Other Athletes On Social Media

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KELLY McBRIDE
Investigators say Benjamin Tucker Patz sent threatening Instagram messages to four players for the Rays and one player for the Chicago White Sox in July 2019.

A New York sports gambler is facing federal charges in Florida related to threatening social media messages sent to players with the Tampa Bay Rays and other teams.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa announced a charge Wednesday of transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce against 23-year-old Benjamin Tucker Patz.

A criminal complaint says Patz made numerous violent threats last year against athletes and their family members through anonymous Instagram accounts.

The Tampa Bay Rays lost a home baseball game last July to the Chicago White Sox. Investigators say Patz later sent threatening Instagram messages to four players for the Rays and one player for the White Sox.

According to the court filing, Patz -- nicknamed "Parlay" -- sent a threat to a Rays player that read: "Your family will be beheaded."  He also threatened to behead players on other teams.