United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins
Western District of North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Donte Jamar Sims, 21, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer to threatening the life of the President of the United States, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Russell F. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Field Division, and Chief Rodney D. Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
According to filed court documents and today’s plea hearing, on September 5, 2012, Sims was arrested for making threats to kill the President. On September 18, 2012, a criminal indictment formally charged Sims with one count of knowingly and willfully making a threat to take the life of and to inflict bodily harm upon Barack H. Obama, President of the United States, specifically by making threats to assassinate President Obama in statement Sims posted on his Twitter account, @DestroyLeague_D.
Court records show that Sims was aware that President Obama would be in Charlotte during the week of September 3, 2012, in connection with the Democratic National Convention. Media outlets had reported that the President would be making several public appearances in Charlotte during that time period, including making public speeches at the Time Warner Arena or the Bank of America Stadium.
On September 4, 2012, the U.S. Secret Service located the following statements on Twitter made using the Twitter user name “@DestroyLeague_D.”:
a) 09/03/12 @ 0606 hours: “Well Ima Assassinate president Obama this evening !... Gotta get this monkey off my chest while he’s in town -_-"(https://twitter.com/DestroyLeague_D/status/242609574576803841)
b) 09/03/12 @ 0608 hours: “Ima hit president Obama with that Lee Harvey Oswald swag”
c) 09/03/12 @ 0612 hours: “The Secret Service is gonna be defenseless once I aim the Assault Rifle at Barack’s Forehead … F* the #DNC !”
d) 09/03/12 @ 0619 hours: “he wont even make it to the coliseum”
e) 09/03/12 @ 0620 hours: “*Plotting president Obama’s Murder”
The personal photograph on the profile associated with @DestroyLeague_D published on the Twitter website was that of Sims.
On September 5, 2012, agents with the U.S. Secret Service conducted an interview of Sims at his Charlotte residence. Court records indicate Sims acknowledged that he used Twitter and that his account was named @DestroyLeague_D. Sims also acknowledged using his Twitter account @DestroyLeague_D to publish the Tweets threatening the President, and also stated that he published the statements because he hated President Obama.
The defendant had been in local federal custody since September 5, 2012, until today’s plea hearing. Judge Cayer ordered that Sims be released on bond and placed on electronic monitoring. Sims is also prohibited from using Twitter or any other social media outlet. The offense Sims is charged with carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine, or both. A sentencing date for Sims has not been set yet.
The investigation was led by the U.S. Secret Service with the assistance of CMPD. The prosecution for the government was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Gleason and Mark Odulio of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.