News

State Prisoner Pleads Guilty to Sending a Threatening Letter To a U.S. District Judge


Also Attempted to Mail a Threatening Letter to the President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - Willie Ray Bryant, age 41, a Maryland state prisoner housed in Cumberland, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to willfully causing a threatening communication to be mailed to a United States judge.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Special Agent in Charge Barbara Golden of the United States Secret Service – Baltimore Field Office.

According to Bryant’s plea agreement, sometime prior to September 11, 2010, he smuggled out a letter addressed to a U.S. District Judge and caused that letter to be mailed on September 11, 2010 from Baltimore, Maryland. On September 14, 2010, the Judge received the one-page letter at his chambers which threatened, “BOOM see how easy this was, next time you wont be so lucky ERM Family ANTHRAX!!" The judge had presided over one of Bryant’s prior state criminal cases.

The letter was unsigned, but FBI fingerprint analysis determined that it bore Bryant’s prints and found that the letter also bore imprints of letters and numbers appearing to partially match Bryant's mother’s name and phone number.

After the FBI determined the sender’s identity from Bryant’s fingerprints, a message was sent to Maryland Corrections officials to monitor Bryant's use of the mail. Shortly thereafter, corrections officials intercepted a letter Bryant had addressed to President Obama excoriating the President for turning his back on Islam and threatening to kill the President. Bryant signed the letter and included his state prisoner number.

Bryant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett, has scheduled sentencing for December 9, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Secret Service for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Adam K. Ake, who is prosecuting the case.

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