A Kentucky woman was sentenced to nine years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for mailing communications to her neighbors in 2020 threatening to injure them because of their race.
According to court documents, Suzanne Craft, 55, of Louisville, sent multiple threatening communications via the U.S. Postal Service to an interracial couple and their children, who lived in the same neighborhood as Craft. Many of these communications contained threats of violence and racial slurs.
Following the jury trial in March, Craft was convicted of five counts of mailing threatening communications. 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.
“This sentence sends a clear message regarding our commitment to ending hate-motivated violence and threats of violence,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “There is no room in civilized society for violent threats based on race. We hope that this result brings some measure of peace to victims who had to suffer through the defendant’s terrifying threats of racial violence.”
“I commend the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the trial team for their outstanding work during the investigation and prosecution of this case,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky. “The citizens of the Western District who live in communities throughout our 53 counties have the right to live and raise their families free from threats of violence made on the basis of race. The nine-year sentence imposed by the court in this case sends a strong message that this type of activity is criminal, will not be tolerated and that this office will take action to protect our citizens from racial hatred.”
“Today’s sentencing is indicative of the egregious behavior Craft levied on her neighbors,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office. “Racially-charged threats will not be tolerated in our communities, and if discovered, will be fully investigated and the perpetrators will be held accountable.”
Assistant Attorney General Clarke, U.S. Attorney Bennett, Special Agent in Charge Cohen and U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Lesley Allison of the Pittsburgh Division made the announcement.
The FBI Louisville Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Tieke and Stephanie Zimdahl for the Western District of Kentucky prosecuted the case, with assistance from paralegal Carissa Moss.