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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Minneapolis Felon Indicted for Making Threats Against Hennepin County Government Officials, Illegal Possession of Firearms

MINNEAPOLIS – A federal grand jury returned an indictment against a Minneapolis man for making threats against Hennepin County employees and illegally possessing firearms as a felon, announced Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk.

According to court documents, on June 24, 2021, the Hennepin County District Court issued an arrest warrant for Peter Robert Berry, 60, after he failed to appear in court for a hearing. Berry called an employee of Hennepin County Community Corrections to ask questions about his court appearance. During the call Berry became angry and began yelling and threatened to “shoot up the place.” That same day, Berry left a voice message for a Hennepin County Probation Officer in which Berry demanded a call back before he starts “killing everybody.” On June 25, 2021, Berry called a Hennepin County Service Center employee who informed him of the active warrant for his arrest due to his failure to appear in court. Upon learning about the warrant, Berry stated that he was going to “come down and kill everybody, all the judges, clerks, and deputies.” On June 29, 2021, Berry left a voice message for a Hennepin County Public Defender in which Berry expressed his dissatisfaction with the representation he received in his criminal case and threatened that people were going to die and stated that he knew where the public defender lived.

According to court documents, on July 10, 2020, and on April 7, 2021, Berry unlawfully possessed three firearms, including a Beretta .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a Smith and Wesson 9 mm pistol, and a Diamondback DB15 rifle. Because Berry has prior felony convictions in Hennepin, Dakota, and Ramsey Counties, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.

Berry is charged with two counts of possessing firearms as a felon and three counts of interstate transmission of threats.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minneapolis Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison K. Ethen is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated October 13, 2021