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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Brazilian National Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements Concerning South Boston School Shooting

BOSTON – A Brazilian national pleaded guilty today in connection with sending a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that threatened an armed attack on a South Boston school in 2018. 

Clebio P. De Lima, 43, a Brazilian national previously residing in Quincy, pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements to federal authorities. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for July 31, 2019.

In February 2018, USCIS’ Boston Office received an unsigned letter handwritten in Portuguese stating that an individual identified by the name of “Mario” was going to carry out an attack at a South Boston school. The letter stated that Mario had purchased two firearms and that he was looking to buy more. The letter concluded by stating, “I invite you to take action, I trust in you. Thank you for the great security of this country.” 

Following an investigation, it was determined that the allegations in the letter were false, and that De Lima sent the letter to USCIS hoping that the federal government would arrest his ex-wife’s boyfriend. During a subsequent interview with federal law enforcement agents in September 2018, De Lima falsely denied any knowledge about the unsigned letter sent to USCIS. 

The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case was investigated by the FBI Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney George P. Varghese of Lelling’s National Security Unit is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
National Security
Component(s): 
Updated June 20, 2019