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Press Release

Columbia County Man Sentenced For Threatening The President, Congressman Bennie Thompson, And A Federal Judge

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

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that United States District Court Judge Juan R. Sanchez, Chief Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, sentenced Robert Maverick Vargo, age 26, of Berwick, Pennsylvania, to 37 months in prison for threats against a sitting congressman, a federal judge, and the President of the United States. 

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, in October of 2022, Vargo mailed a letter to United States Representative Bennie Thompson, threatening to kill him, his family, President Joseph Biden, and United States District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani.  Vargo mailed the letter from Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania to Congressman Thompson in Washington, D.C., with intent to intimidate and interfere with Congressman Thompson’s official duties.  Congressman Thompson is the Chair of the Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol Complex.  Vargo cited Thompson’s role as Chairman of that committee in making his threats. Vargo also invoked the name of domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.

Judge Sanchez noted Vargo’s lengthy criminal history and the disturbing nature of the threats in imposing the 37-month sentence. Upon release from prison, Vargo must serve three years on federal supervised release.  Vargo’s federal sentence will begin after he finishes serving a three to six year term in state prison for a 2022 escape conviction.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police, Protective Service Bureau and the Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts prosecuted the case.

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Updated May 1, 2023