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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 13, 2022

Man Sentenced for Violent Threats to State and Federal Elected Officials

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man was sentenced today to 41 months in prison for making more than 60 threats to murder, rape, torture, and otherwise harm state and federal elected officials, including numerous members of Congress and a former President of the United States.

According to court documents, Steve Cochran, 43, repeatedly threatened to murder, kidnap, torture, and/or rape elected officials and their loved ones. The threats were often highly graphic, expressed in unconditional language, and intended to influence the recipient to change his or her political views. For example, Cochran threatened to shoot a U.S. Senator. Cochran added that this was “not a threat” – it was a “guarantee.” He also threatened a Governor repeatedly that he would not “live past August” and his “wife and kids are in imminent danger.”

Cochran is a two-time convicted felon. He has prior felony convictions for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and burglary with intent to commit larceny. Cochran also has an assault conviction stemming from repeated threats to kill his spouse.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Mack Coleman prosecuted the case.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Peninsula Safe Streets Task Force and U.S. Capitol Police. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also assisted. The Peninsula Safe Streets Task Force is a partnership that includes the FBI, Virginia State Police, Hampton Police Division, James City County Police Department, Newport News Police Department, and United States Postal Inspection Service. This task force investigates the most violent criminal enterprises operating on the Virginia Peninsula. Tips regarding gang activity and other violent crimes in the region can be reported to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or www.fbi.gov/tips.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:22-cr-7.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Press Officer USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov
Updated October 13, 2022