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Press Release

Amherst Man Charged With Threatening Members of Congress Will Be Detained

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

            CONCORD – In a 22-page order issued today, United States Magistrate Judge Andrea K. Johnstone ordered that Ryder Winegar, 33, of Amherst be detained pending trial, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

            Winegar was arrested on January 11, 2021.  He is charged in a complaint with threatening members of Congress.  The United States moved to detain the defendant, arguing that he presented a risk of flight and a danger to the community.  In the order issued today, Magistrate Judge Johnstone granted the government’s motion for detention.

            The complaint filed in court alleges that on December 16 and 17, 2020, Winegar left voicemails at the offices of six members of the United States Congress in the District of Columbia.  In some of the messages, Winegar identified himself by name or identified his telephone number.  The voicemails threatened to hang the members of Congress if they did not “get behind Donald Trump.”  For example, in one message, Winegar allegedly said, “I got some advice for you.  Here’s the advice, Donald Trump is your president.  If you don’t get behind him, we’re going to hang you until you die.”

            The charges in the complaint are only allegations.  The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

            The case was investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police with assistance from the United States Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Amherst Police Department.


Updated February 4, 2021

Press Release Number: 21-023