Tennessee Man Arrested for Alleged Threatening Calls to Virginia Congressman
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Glendon Swift, 62, of Lenoir City, Tenn., was arrested late yesterday for allegedly making threats against the family of Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Michael F. A. Morehart, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement.
“Threatening to harm the family of a public official is a very serious charge, and we are grateful to the FBI and their law enforcement partners for their quick action in this case,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride.
Swift was charged by criminal complaint of threatening to assault or murder a member of the immediate family of a United States official. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He made an initial appearance before the Honorable C. Clifford Shirley, Jr., United States Magistrate Judge, in Knoxville, Tenn., this afternoon.
According to court documents, an unknown male left two voicemail messages with Rep. Cantor’s Glen Allen, Va., office the evening of Oct. 27, 2011. The screaming, profanity-laden messages allegedly stated that the caller was going to destroy Rep. Cantor, rape his daughter and kill his wife. A Congressional staff member retrieved the messages, alerted the U.S. Capitol Police, which sought the assistance of the FBI to identify and locate the individual who made the calls.
Swift was identified as the individual who subscribed to the phone number used to make the call. He was arrested without incident on Nov. 2, 2011 by the FBI in Knoxville and the Lenoir City Police Department after having been interviewed by law enforcement, and allegedly admitted to making the threatening phone calls to Rep. Cantor’s office.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Richmond and Knoxville Field Offices, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Lenoir City Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jamie L. Mickelson is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.