Skip to main content
Press Release

Kerr County Man Sentenced For Sending Threatening Letters to President Obama an U.S. Attorney and a FBI Field Office

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

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Gavin Friedman, 21, of Austin, Texas, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra to 63 months in federal prison for sending threatening communications to President Obama, and the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, as well as threats to destroy the FBI field office in Houston.  The announcement was made today by U.S Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.


Friedman pleaded guilty to one count of making a threat against the president, one count of mailing – concerning an explosive and two counts of mailing threatening communications.  He has been in custody since the time of his arrest in December 2016.


“Threats such as these have no place in a civilized society and will be vigorously prosecuted,” said U.S. Attorney Parker.


According to plea documents filed in the case, on January 22, 2016, Friedman wrote and mailed a letter which contained a threat to take the life of the President Barack Obama. The letter stated that President Obama would be killed so Friedman could be martyred in the name of Allah.


On September 19, 2016, according to plea documents, Friedman made a threat, by mail, to damage and destroy the Federal Bureau of Investigation Field Office in Houston, Texas and the White House in Washington, D.C., by means of an explosive.  Also on September 19, 2016 and again on September 27, 2016, Friedman wrote and mailed two separate letters addressed to the United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas, which contained threats to injure the United States Attorney and stating that he was going to kill, and had hired people to kill, the United States Attorney, and to kidnap and kill his family.


The U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Marshals Service investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Penley of the Northern District of Texas prosecuted the case, as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas is recused from the matter.


# # #


Lisa Slimak

Updated October 11, 2017