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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Long Island Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening to Assault and Murder Two United States Senators

Threatening Voice-Messages Left for Senators in Connection with the Nomination and Confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Ronald DeRisi pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco to threatening to assault and murder United States senators in retaliation for their support of the nomination and confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.  When sentenced, DeRisi faces up to 10 years in prison.  As part of his plea agreement with the government, DeRisi will forfeit two rifles to the United States.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Matthew R. Verderosa, Chief of Police, United States Capitol Police, announced the guilty plea.

“This defendant threatened to assault and murder two sitting United States senators in an effort to intimidate them and interfere with their performance of official duties,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “Ours is a system of laws – not threats – and the Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who seek to undermine the integrity of our constitutional system through violence.”  Mr. Donoghue extended his grateful appreciation to the United States Capitol Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Suffolk County Police Department for their investigative work and assistance in the case. 

 “The mission of the United States Capitol Police is to protect the Congress, the U.S. Capitol, and all who work and visit here. I want to thank our investigators for their excellent work as well as our law enforcement partners and Mr. Donoghue and his staff for bringing this investigation and trial to this satisfactory conclusion,” stated U.S. Capitol Police Chief Verderosa.

In September and October of 2018, DeRisi telephoned and left more than 10 threatening voice-messages at the offices of two United States senators in connection with the nomination and confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.  When DeRisi was arrested on October 19, 2018, members of law enforcement recovered the prepaid cellular telephone that had been used to make the threatening calls, as well as live ammunition during the execution of a search warrant. 

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Justina L. Geraci is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

Ronald DeRisi
Age: 74
Smithtown, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-090 (JFB)

Contact: 
John Marzulli Tyler Daniels United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated February 28, 2019