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Press Release

State Prisoner Indicted for Mailing Threatening Letters

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Threats Mailed From State Prisons to Chambers of Federal Judge, Offices of U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK --Dennis J. Nelson, age 49, a New York State prisoner incarcerated at the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Oneida County, New York, was indicted on Wednesday for mailing letters from state prison facilities, in which he threatened to bomb and murder Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy, United States Representative Anthony Brindisi, and United States Senator Charles Schumer.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The indictment charges that Nelson mailed a threat letter to Judge McAvoy’s chambers in Binghamton, New York, on August 1, 2018, when Nelson was then incarcerated in the Great Meadow Correctional Facility, in Washington County, and that Nelson thereafter, on July 15, 2019, mailed additional threat letters to the Utica office of Representative Brindisi and to the Syracuse office of Senator Schumer while Nelson was incarcerated at the Mohawk Correctional Facility. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The charges filed against Nelson each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  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.

The defendant will be arraigned before a United States Magistrate Judge at a date and time to be determined, and will be transferred to federal custody at that time.  

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl G. Eurenius.

Updated September 4, 2020

Violent Crime