Former Kentucky State Prison Sergeant Convicted of Violating Civil Rights of an Inmate and Obstruction of Justice
A federal jury convicted a local woman on Friday of mailing communications containing threats to injure others in November and December 2020.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Suzanne Craft, 54, of Louisville, sent multiple threating communications via the United States Postal Service to a family that lived in her Lake Forrest neighborhood. Many of these communications contained threats of violence and racial slurs. The jury convicted Craft of five counts of mailing threatening communications.
“Holding people accountable for threats and intimidation based on race is a top priority of the Department,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We are grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their professional and diligent pursuit of this case.”
“I commend the outstanding work of the FBI’s Louisville Public Corruption Task Force, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and the assigned prosecutors during the investigation and trial of this case,” said U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky. “This office, working together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute threats of violence and raced based intimidation throughout the Western District.”
“Receiving violent, hate-filled threats can have a devastating and lifelong impact on the victim. These senseless acts violate the law, run contrary to our values as Americans and defy the principles of tolerance that define our community,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office. “Through the great work of the Public Corruption/Civil Rights Task Force, and that of our federal prosecutive partners, we were able to hold Kraft accountable for her actions. Our hearts are with the victims of these crimes, we appreciate their strength to come forward, and we hope this brings some semblance of closure to this ordeal.”
“Keeping the U.S. mailstream safe for all Americans is a priority for the USPIS,” said Inspector in Charge Lesley Allison of the USPIS Pittsburgh Division. “Threats of violence in the mail, especially those which are racially motivated, will not be tolerated. We work diligently with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice anyone who mails such threats.”
The jury further found that for each of these five counts, Craft sent the threatening communications to her neighbors because of their actual or perceived race or color.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 21, before a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky. Craft remains in federal custody pending sentencing and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. There is no parole in the federal system.
Assistant Attorney General Clarke, U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office and USPIS in Charge Lesley Allison of the Pittsburgh Division made the announcement.
The FBI Louisville Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force and the USPIS are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Tieke and Stephanie Zimdahl for the Western District of Kentucky are prosecuting the case, with assistance from paralegal Carissa Moss, and with assistance in the investigation from Trial Attorney Mary Hahn of the Civil Rights Division.