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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Allenwood Federal Prison Inmate Charged With Threatening Federal Official

WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that charges have been filed against Dakota Gardner who is currently confined at the U.S. Penitentiary, Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Gardner, age 25, is charged in a six-count Indictment with threatening to harm a prosecutor who previously brought charges against him, as well as threatening the prosecutor’s family and making additional threats against the President and other government officials. The threats were communicated in a series of letters written by Gardner in 2015 and 2016 that were intercepted by prison officials.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Prisons Special Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur has been assigned to prosecute the case. 

Indictments are only allegations.  All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statues and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statutes is 70 years imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine of $1,500,000. 

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not necessarily an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated May 27, 2016