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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 10, 2019

Connecticut Resident Charged with Making Numerous Hoax Threats

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a 16-count indictment yesterday charging GARY JOSEPH GRAVELLE, also known as Roland Prejean, 51, last residing in New Haven, with threatening to kill, injure and intimidate people and explode property in Connecticut and elsewhere.

As alleged in the indictment, 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 was arrested on September 8, 2018, for violating the terms of his federal supervised release.  He was under federal supervision when he allegedly committed the offenses charged in the indictment, having been convicted and sentenced in 2013 for offenses stemming from his sending threatening communications.  He has been detained since his arrest.

The indictment charges Gravelle with 12 counts of maliciously conveying false information about an explosive, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count; three counts related to the sending of hoax Anthrax letters, and offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each count, and one count of making threats against the President, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  The U.S. Attorney extends his appreciation to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and many local police and fire departments for their assistance in this matter that directly affected various communities, including departments from Bristol, Guilford, Groton, Hartford, Middletown, New Haven, Old Saybrook and Southington, Yale University, and Burlington, Vermont.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.

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Updated May 10, 2019