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Press Release

California Woman Pleads Guilty to Leaving Threatening Anti-Semitic Message

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – Melanie Harris, 59 of Riverside, California, pled guilty to knowingly and intentionally transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce.  Harris, who has been in custody since July 20, 2023, entered her guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jared M. Strauss on March 4.  Harris remains in custody and is scheduled for sentencing on May 23 before U.S. District Judge Roy K. Altman in Miami, where she faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

According to the facts admitted at the change of plea, on October 3, 2022, Harris made multiple calls to Victim 1’s cell phone, and left four separate threatening voicemails, with the intent to communicate a true threat and with the knowledge that the communications would be seen as true threats.  In one of these four October 3 voicemails, Harris stated in relevant part: “I’ll cut your f------ head off kiker.”  The term “kike” has long been used as an anti-Semitic slur aimed at Jews.

Neither Victim 1 nor his wife, Victim 2, knew the identity of the person (Harris) calling Victim 1 with these threatening and harassing calls and voicemails.  Nor did they know where the calls were coming from because Harris concealed her phone number using the *67 feature.  However, all of these calls originated from the Riverside, California area, where Harris lived at the time, and were received by Victim 1’s phone in the Southern District of Florida.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of FBI, Miami Field Office, announced the guilty plea. 

The FBI's Miami Area Corruption Task Force, which also investigates civil rights violations, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward N. Stamm and Nardia Haye are prosecuting the case, which was indicted by Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry C. Wallace, Jr.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 23-cr-60050. 



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated March 8, 2024

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