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Press Release

Former Naval Police Officer Charged for Making Threats in Interstate Commerce

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant allegedly sent threatening letters while in state custody for carrying a hatchet knife, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, among other charges

BOSTON – A former naval police officer at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire was charged yesterday in connection with allegedly threatening his ex-wife and her mother in Iowa.

Luis De Leon, 30, of Middleton, a was charged with three counts of making threatening communications in interstate commerce. De Leon, who is currently in custody at the Middleton House of Corrections on unrelated state charges, will make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Boston on Oct. 3, 2022.

According to the charging documents, from June 2021 until June 2022, De Leon was employed by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as a Naval Police Officer.

It is alleged that on or about April 30, 2022, De Leon made a threatening phone call to his ex-wife in Iowa from a mobile telephone belonging to another individual. Specifically, during the call, De Leon allegedly made several threatening statements including, “You’re gonna f****** pay! Do you understand!? There will be death! There will be war in the street! You wanna to go war!? I’ll take you to f****** war!”

On or about May 2, 2022, De Leon was arrested by Lawrence Police on unrelated charges including carrying a dangerous weapon (a hatchet knife), resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, threatening to commit a crime and motor vehicle offenses. De Leon has remained in custody since his arrest.

Between May and June 2022, while still in custody in Middleton House of Corrections, De Leon allegedly sent two letters containing threats to his ex-wife’s mother in Iowa. In the letters, it is alleged that De Leon wrote, among other things, “I’ll be heading over there soon […] God help you and your dysfunctional family if you try and stop me. I won’t be alone either just so you know and that’s for your safety NOT MINE!!! […] If you don’t believe me just look where I’m sending this from. I don’t really have much else to lose, and do you know what men with nothing left to lose usually do?”

The charge of making threatening communications in interstate commerce provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy H. Kistner of Rollins’ National Security Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated September 27, 2022