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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Castelli Sentenced For Threatening U.S. Military Members and Their Families

COVINGTON, Ky. – A Maysville, KY woman, who previously pleaded guilty to communicating threats in interstate commerce, was sentenced today to ninety (90) months in prison.            

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning sentenced 57-year-old Marie Antoinette Castelli for communicating threats in interstate commerce.  

Castelli, a United States Citizen, was an active member of an invitation-only Facebook group in which many members discussed their support for ISIS.  Within this group, the Defendant participated in online discussions and disseminated information and propaganda supporting violence against the West and the establishment of a worldwide Caliphate. 

On October 19, 2015, the Defendant posted a message to the Facebook group stating, “A great sister on twitter published addresses of the kafir men who killed sheikh awlaki and his son with the drone[.] [P]raying the mujahadine will send someone for justice[.]”  The message included a link to a publically-viewable webpage calling for the killing of certain United States Service Members and their families.  The document referred to the service members and their families as “targets,” and outlined their purported “atrocities” against Osama Bin Laden and Anwar Al-Awlaki.  The document was posted “to ask my brothers and Al-Qaeda in the U.S. to eventually hunt him down and execute him.”  

In addition, the Defendant posted a series of additional messages to the Facebook group.  In the first message, the Defendant posted the full name, date of birth and address of the military members, and stated, “they make targets on our heads so here are their heads for targets…”  The Defendant transmitted these messages for the purpose of issuing a threat, and with knowledge that the communications would be viewed as a threat. 

FBI Special Agents Kristine Holden and W. Aaron Graves investigated the case.  Assistant United States Attorney Robert K. McBride, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section, National Security Division, represented the United States.

Under federal law, Castelli must serve 85% of her prison sentence.  She will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for up to 3 years after her release from prison.

Edward O’Callaghan, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Robert M. Duncan, United States Attorney, and Amy S. Hess, FBI Special Agent in Charge, jointly announced the sentence.

 

Topic(s): 
National Security
Updated March 26, 2018