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Press Release

Man Arrested for Threatening to Injure Federal Judge

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, man was arrested Oct. 18, 2020, for threatening to injure a federal judge, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

William Kaetz, 56, of Paramus, New Jersey, was charged by criminal complaint with making an interstate communication containing a threat to injure a person and with threatening to assault and murder a federal judge. Kaetz is scheduled to have his initial appearance this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor.   

According to the criminal complaint filed in this case:

On Sept. 24, 2020, Kaetz sent a communication via U.S. Mail to a federal district judge’s house, claiming to have a pending civil matter before the judge and requesting that the judge expedite the case. Kaetz was interviewed that day by investigators and admitted to being concerned about the status of his pending lawsuit before the judge. Kaetz also asked for the judge to be recused and stated that he had acquired the judge’s home address using a paid internet-based service. Kaetz further stated that the excessive delay on his pending case was unacceptable to him.

On Sept. 30, 2020, Kaetz left a voicemail for the judge, at the judge’s office, stating that he had cases pending before the judge, that the judge should have decided his matters weeks ago, and that he wanted the judge off his cases and off the bench. Kaetz further stated that he would not take “no” for an answer.

On Oct. 18, 2020, Kaetz sent an email to the judge’s personal email account and to others, including general email address for the U.S. Marshals Service. In that email, Kaetz claimed that the judge had been “avoiding and stonewalling” his case, that the judge was a “traitor,” that being a traitor “has a death sentence,” and that “there will come a time to take down those people that fail to do their job.” Kaetz further stated that he had pending motions before the judge and that he would try his best “not to harm the traitor” judge but that the “traitor” judge needed to be dealt with. Kaetz then threatened to publicly reveal the judge’s home address and stated: “God knows who has a grievance and what will happen after that.”

The charge of making an interstate communication containing a threat to injure a person carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The charge of threatening to assault and murder a federal judge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Both charges also carry a maximum fine of $250,000. 

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., and deputy U.S. Marshals for the District of New Jersey, under the direction of U.S. Marshal Juan Mattos Jr., with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean Sovolos of the Office’s National Security Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated October 20, 2020

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 20-364