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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Prison Inmate Sentenced for Threatening to Kill the President of the United States

BOSTON – A former inmate at Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for threatening to kill the President of the United States.

Alex Hernandez, 32, of Worcester, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to 37 months in prison, to be served concurrently with a state sentence he is currently serving, and three years of supervised release. In May 2017, Hernandez pleaded guilty to one count of threatening to kill and inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States. Hernandez is currently serving a five-to-eight-year sentence at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center following a 2011 state conviction for drug and firearms offenses, including the illegal possession of a .22 caliber handgun, a Tec-9, a .22 caliber rifle - all of which were equipped with high capacity magazines, and ammunition.

In March 2015, federal agents obtained information alleging that Hernandez wanted to kill the President and had expressed an interest in obtaining false travel documents so he could flee the country after his attack. Law enforcement officers then set up a meeting between Hernandez and an undercover agent who posed as an embassy contact with the ability to assist Hernandez with obtaining false travel documents.

On Dec. 22, 2015, and Feb. 12, 2016, the undercover agent met with Hernandez at Old Colony Correctional Center. During the first meeting, Hernandez stated that he wanted to attack the White House and that he was studying how to make explosives that could be placed around government buildings to “create chaos.”  During the second meeting with the undercover agent, Hernandez, a Muslim convert, discussed the motivation for his planned attacks, telling the agent that his “brothers are fighting to uphold the laws and structure of the caliphate in the Middle East” and that “this government . . . is painting it like they are the bad guys[.]” Hernandez also explained that he wanted to target the President because “he’s the one that gives the orders[.]”    

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Stephen A. Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Boston Field Office; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Thomas Turco, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordi de Llano of Weinreb’s Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated July 26, 2017