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Press Release

Federal Inmate Pleads Guilty to Mailing Threat Letters to Federal Judge and Members of Congress

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Dennis J. Nelson, age 51, currently incarcerated in Federal Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Facility in Devens, Massachusetts (FCI Devens) pled guilty today to  mailing threat letters in 2018 and 2019, while incarcerated in State of New York correctional facilities, to a Federal Judge and to two members of Congress.

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) made the announcement.

As part of his guilty plea, Nelson admitted that on August 1, 2018, while incarcerated in a New York State correctional facility, Nelson mailed a threat letter containing a bomb threat to the chambers of United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy in Binghamton, New York, threatening to kill Judge McAvoy and those at the federal courthouse with a bomb.  As further part of his guilty plea, Nelson admitted that on July 15, 2019, while incarcerated in a New York State correctional facility, Nelson mailed threat letters to the offices of then United States representative Anthony Brindisi, containing a bomb threat to kill Representative Brindisi, and to United States Senator Charles Schumer, containing a bomb threat to kill Senator Schumer.

At sentencing on a date yet to be determined, Nelson faces a term of imprisonment of 84 months, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.  In this case, if the plea agreement is accepted by the Court, Nelson will be sentenced to an agreed upon sentence of incarceration of 84 months. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force (FBI JTTF), the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s Office of Special Investigation (NYS DOCCS OIG), and the United States Capitol Police are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl G. Eurenius is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 24, 2023

Violent Crime