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Press Release

Nanuet Man Pleads Guilty In White Plains Federal Court To Threatening To Kill Federal And State Officials

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

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that LAWRENCE MULQUEEN pled guilty to an Indictment charging him with making threats against federal officials in messages that he posted on the online social networking site “Facebook.” MULQUEEN threatened to kill members of the U.S. Congress, state and local elected officials, and others. He was charged in February 2013 and pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As we have stated time and time again, social media, and the internet generally, are powerful tools for communication, but the fact that you face a screen and not a person does not give Lawrence Mulqueen, or anyone else, a license to make threats and incite others to commit acts of violence. The fact that a threat is made remotely does not mean that the chance of prosecution is remote. With his plea today, Mulqueen has learned that.”

According to the Complaint, Indictment, and statements made at today’s guilty plea proceeding in White Plains federal court:

In February 2013, MULQUEEN posted numerous messages on his Facebook page in which he threatened to kill members of the U.S. Congress, state and local elected officials, and others. For example, on February 20, 2013 he posted a message stating that he “[could] not wait to start killing” multiple U.S. Senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as a Governor and Mayor. MULQUEEN instructed people commenting on his posts to secure a “high powered rifle,” and recommended a particular Italian-manufactured shotgun as “very light and . . . semi-automatic, [with] no need to pump or reload.” He added that readers should “[u]se blades when you can to conserve bullets.” In other posts, MULQUEEN commanded readers to seek out and kill Latinos and at least one political activist.

MULQUEEN, 50, of Nanuet, NY, pled guilty to one count of threatening federal officials and one count of transmitting threatening communications. He faces a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 and will be sentenced by Judge Karas on October 16, 2013. Separate state charges against MULQUEEN for criminal possession of a weapon remain pending in Rockland County Court.

Mr. Bharara praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and the Clarkstown Police Department in this investigation.

The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ilan Graff is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated May 13, 2015

Press Release Number: 13-193