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Press Release

Fruitland Park Man Pleads Guilty To Sending Interstate Threats

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Ocala, Florida – Richard Mel Phillips (36, Fruitland Park) has pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce. Phillips faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to court documents, Phillips sent a series of threatening phone calls and voicemails to members of the U.S. Congress. In the most recent of these voicemails, Phillips threatened to travel to a member of Congress’s home district to kill the Congressperson, and threatened to “slaughter” any law enforcement agents that were sent to Phillips’ home. In a subsequent interview with the FBI, Phillips admitted to making the threatening voicemail.

This case was investigated by the FBI (Ocala Resident Agency). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William S. Hamilton.

Updated November 14, 2018