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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Inland Empire Man Convicted of Federal Criminal Charges for Making Threats Against Congressional Staffers and an Intern

          LOS ANGELES – A San Bernardino County man has been found guilty by a jury of federal criminal charges that he made harassing telephone calls to government offices and threatened to injure congressional staffers and an intern who answered the calls.

          Robert Eric Stahlnecker, 48, of Twentynine Palms, was found guilty yesterday evening of one count of making threats by interstate commerce and five counts of anonymous telecommunications harassment. The jury acquitted him of two counts of threatening federal employees.

          According to the evidence presented at his two-day trial, on September 26, 2019, Stahlnecker made eight telephone calls within a seven-minute span to the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. During the calls, Stahlnecker berated the intern who answered the call, insulted the intern by using vulgar language and finally, threatened to come to the senator’s office to kill her.

          Between September and November 2019, Stahlnecker made multiple abusive telephone calls to staff members and interns of multiple members of Congress.

          Stahlnecker has made more than 10,000 calls to government agencies and elected officials between January and November of last year, according to court documents.

          United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson has scheduled a May 4 sentencing hearing, at which time Stahlnecker will face a statutory maximum of five years in federal prison.

          The United States Capitol Police and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General investigated this case.

          This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Peter H. Dahlquist and Robert S. Trisotto of the Riverside Branch Office.

Ciaran McEvoy Public Information Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) (213) 894-4465
Press Release Number: 
Updated February 13, 2020