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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Kissimmee Man Convicted For Sending Death Threats To Senator Bernie Sanders

Orlando, FL – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that a federal jury yesterday found Robert Francis Pratersch (57, Kissimmee) guilty of threatening a federal official and interstate transmission of a threat to injure. Pratersch faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 16, 2019. 

According to evidence presented at trial, Pratersch left three threatening voicemail messages at the Office of Senator Bernie Sanders in Burlington, Vermont. These profanity-laced messages included a threat to “behead” Senator Sanders, “ISIS-style,” and videotape the execution. The messages also included numerous anti-Semitic remarks directed at Senator Sanders. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Capitol Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vincent S. Chiu.

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Updated May 1, 2019