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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Connecticut Resident Admits Making Numerous Hoax Threats

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that GARY JOSEPH GRAVELLE, also known as Roland Prejean, 52, last residing in New Haven, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to seven charges related to his threatening to kill, injure and intimidate people and explode property in Connecticut and elsewhere.  He also admitted that he violated the conditions of his supervised release that followed his earlier federal convictions for sending threatening communications.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in September 2018, Gravelle used the U.S. mail, e-mail and telephone to threaten to harm people and explode property in Connecticut, Vermont and Washington.  Certain letters that Gravelle mailed contained a white powdery substance and statements that the substance was Anthrax, a biological agent and toxin.  Gravelle made threats to various mental health providers and facilities in New Haven, U.S. Probation Officers, a U.S. District Court Judge, an international airport in Vermont, a federal prison in Washington, occupants of a building in Old Saybrook, a credit union in Bristol, and organizations and religious centers in Connecticut.  He also sent a letter threatening to kill the President of the United States.

Gravelle pleaded guilty to five counts of maliciously conveying false information about an explosive, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count; one count related to the sending of hoax Anthrax letters, and offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, and one count of making threats against the President, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

On July 19, 2013, Gravelle was sentenced in Bridgeport federal court to 70 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for mailing numerous threatening letters in 2010.  Gravelle was released from prison in 2015 and, in September 2018, was still under federal supervision. 

In pleading guilty, Gravelle also admitted that he failed to comply with conditions of his supervised release, namely not violating any federal or state law by engaging in the threatening conduct in September 2018.

Judge Dooley scheduled sentencing for March 26, 2020.

Gravelle has been detained since his arrest on September 8, 2018.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with the assistance of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and many local police and fire departments, including departments from Bristol, Guilford, Groton, Hartford, Middletown, New Haven, Old Saybrook, Southington and Stamford, Yale University, and Burlington, Vermont.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.

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Updated January 7, 2020