News and Press Releases

Federal Inmate Pleads Guilty To Mailing Threatening Communications

April 23, 2010

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, April 23, 2010, that Phillip C. Clayton, an inmate of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to charges of mailing threatening communications.

Clayton, age 35, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

According to Assistant United States Attorney John J. Valkovci, Jr., on January 14, 2010 and January 19, 2010, while incarcerated at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center (NEOCC), Clayton mailed letters to the United States District Court Clerk in Youngstown, Ohio.  The first letter threatened to kill the President Judge, the Court Clerk, the Warden at NEOCC, a correctional officer at NEOCC, and the President of the United States.  The second letter threatened to kill the NEOCC Warden and 2 correctional officers there, the Warden at the Allegheny County Jail, a Cambria County Common Pleas Judge and the President Judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

In an earlier proceeding on January 29, 2010 before Judge Cercone, Clayton pled guilty to 3 other counts of mailing threatening communications to the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (on July 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009) and to the Cambria County Common Pleas Court (on November 30, 2009).

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing on all counts for May 26, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.  The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 45 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

The United States Marshals Service and the United States Secret Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Clayton.

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