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Press Release

Cleveland Man Found Guilty of Threatening a Federal Employee

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

U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that a federal jury today returned a guilty verdict against Defendant Lon R. Sweeney, 56, of Cleveland, Ohio, following a four-day trial before Judge Dan Aaron Polster in Cleveland.  Sweeney was convicted of threatening a federal employee and acquitted of assault of an officer.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on July 12, 2017, Sweeney left a voicemail message threatening bodily harm to an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) after the VA had begun the process of assigning a fiduciary to manage Sweeney’s monetary VA benefits.  During the same voicemail, Sweeney also threatened bodily harm against an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, who had previously warned Sweeney about making threats to VA employees.  Following the threats on July 12, a warrant was issued for Sweeney’s arrest.

On January 7, 2019, Sweeney appeared for a scheduled appointment at the VA Medical Center in Cleveland.  After the appointment concluded, law enforcement officers apprehended Sweeney on his outstanding warrant. 

Sweeney is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, 2022.  A federal district court judge will determine a sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General with the help of the Cleveland VAMC Police and Brecksville Police Departments.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brad J. Beeson and Brian M. McDonough.

Updated December 3, 2021

Violent Crime