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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 22, 2019

Fruitland Park Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Threatening Members Of Congress

Ocala, Florida – U.S. Senior District Judge James D. Whittemore has sentenced Richard Mel Phillips (36, Fruitland Park) to 18 months in federal prison for transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce. Phillips had pleaded guilty on November 8, 2018.

According to court documents, Phillips sent a series of threatening phone calls and voicemails to members of Congress. In the most recent of these voicemails, Phillips threatened to travel to a member of Congress’s home district to kill them, 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–Daytona Beach Resident Agency. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William S. Hamilton.

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Updated March 22, 2019