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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Former Delaware Resident Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Mailing Threats

WILMINGTON, Del. – A former Delaware resident pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to two counts of mailing threatening communications in Delaware.

According to court documents, Michael Protack, 63, mailed two explicit death threats to a Delawarean in January and February of 2021. The January letter threatened death by a date certain.  The February threat included a graphic image of a dead body.  Both threatening communications were sent anonymously. Protack pleaded guilty to mailing both letters and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count. 

David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews accepted the plea.  Judge Andrews will sentence the defendant on December 6, 2021, after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

“Using the U.S. mail to threaten injury or death to others is a serious federal crime, stated U.S. Attorney Weiss.  The defendant’s threats were graphic, violent, and specifically designed to inspire fear. My Office will do what is necessary to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service is not used as a communication vehicle for violent threats.”

“Using the United States Mail to make anonymous violent threats against another person is a federal crime,” said Damon Wood, Postal Inspector in Charge of Philadelphia Division of the Postal Inspection Service.  He added that “Violent threats in the mail are exceedingly rare in 2021, but when they occur, the United States Postal Inspection Service will work to hold accountable those who made the threats.  I want to thank our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for helping us keep the mail safe and free of violence.”   

“We consider any threat to life a serious threat. These were disturbing, calculated messages sent by Mr. Protack and he now faces up to 10 years in prison for his actions,” said Thomas J. Sobocinski, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “These types of cases are aggressively investigated by the FBI, Postal Inspectors and our law enforcement partners, and those who violate federal law will be held accountable.”

This case has been investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI Baltimore Division Wilmington Resident Office, with assistance from the Delaware State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Briana Knox is prosecuting 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 by searching for Case No. 1:21-cr-0042-RGA.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated August 25, 2021