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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Former Delaware Man Who Mailed Death Threats Sentenced To 12 Months in Federal Prison

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Michael Protack, 64, was sentenced yesterday to 12 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews on the charge of mailing threatening communications.

According to court documents, Mr. Protack used the U.S. mail to send a series of threatening communication to his ex-wife’s attorney.  One threat, received on January 7, 2021, stated, in part, that the victim should “count on being dead by June 2021.  You won’t know when, where or how but your end has been written.  Take the time and put your affairs in order because they will not find your body for weeks.”   Another threat, received a couple months later, contained nothing more than a graphic image of a dead, mutilated body.  One of the last threats received by the victim stated, “I drive past your office every day.”  Mr. Protack was arrested on June 11, 2021.

In handing down his sentence, Judge Andrews described Mr. Protack’s conduct as a “campaign of terror” and noted the lengths to which Mr. Protack went to conceal his identity as the perpetrator. Judge Andrews further noted that this was a “very serious offense” and there was a need for just punishment that would promote respect for the law.

U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “Mr. Protack’s repeated threats to murder another human being is, indeed, a very serious offense, and the court’s sentence reflects that fact.  My office is dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of violent crime and holding the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.  I want to thank the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI for their diligence in investigating this case and helping bring Mr. Protack to justice.”

“People using of the mail to terrorize others is fortunately not that common,” said Damon Wood, the Inspector in Charge of the Philadelphia Division.  “The Postal Inspection Service, however, takes such threats seriously and will aggressively investigate anyone who uses the mail to terrorize or threaten another person.  Michael Protack thought that by using the mail, he would never be identified.  Thanks to the work of local Postal Inspectors and agents of the FBI, he was identified and now has a year in prison to think about his crime.  If there are people being threatened through the mail, they should not hesitate to file a complaint with the Postal Inspection Service.  We have over two hundred years of experience investigating and identifying criminals who use the mail to commit or facilitate crimes.”

“The FBI is committed to working with our local, state and federal partners to reduce violence in the community and keep the citizens of Delaware safe,” said Thomas J. Sobocinski, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “We want the public to know the FBI does not tolerate any threat to life and will continue to hold those like Mr. Protack who violate federal law accountable.”

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI's Delaware Violent Crime and Safe Streets Taskforce in the Wilmington Resident Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Briana Knox prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware.  Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER.

The Domestic Violence Hotline is an important resource for victims of domestic abuse. All hotline numbers are confidential, available 24/7, and staffed by trained professionals who assist with safety planning and resource referrals. Services are available to victims who do not speak English or who are hearing impaired (for Delaware Relay Services, dial 711). New Castle County 302-762-6110 (English and bilingual); Kent and Sussex Counties 302-422-8058; 302-745-9874 (bilingual). TTY 1-800-232-5460.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated February 9, 2022