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Press Release

Ridgeland Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Making Threats Against CDC Director Rochelle Walensky

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

Jackson, Miss. – A Ridgeland man was sentenced to two years in prison for making threats in interstate commerce, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in July 2021, Robert Wiser Bates, 39, placed phone calls to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and left voicemails for CDC Director Rochelle Walensky that were threatening in nature. Through the investigation it was determined that Bates made similar threats towards Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institutes of Health. The root of his anger was due to the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Robert was indicted by a federal grand jury and he pled guilty on December 19, 2022. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly T. Purdie prosecuted the case.

Updated March 8, 2023