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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Man Sentenced To Prison For Threatening Emergency Dispatch

Caller placed approximately 143 calls, tied up sheriff’s dispatch line for three hours

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Mark Totten today announced that Jonathan Joshua Munafo, 35, most recently of Winter Park, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff to 24 months in prison and three years’ supervised release for threatening emergency dispatch personnel and tying up an emergency phone line for three hours.

          “Violence, threats of violence, or intimidation is never the answer,” said U.S. Attorney Mark A. Totten. “My office will not tolerate this behavior, especially when it interferes with the life-saving duties of first responders and jeopardizes the public’s safety. Our public servants on the front lines should never be subjected to this type of harassment for simply doing their jobs.”

          On January 5, 2021, Munafo called the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office demanding to speak to a sheriff’s deputy or sergeant. Munafo identified himself only as “Yankee Patriot” and aggressively berated the dispatcher. When her supervisor took over the conversation, Munafo said, “Put a … cop on the on the phone now … or it’s going to go way worse for your family.” He added, “I’m telling you, this isn’t a … threat, it’s a promise. … I’m gonna cut your throat. I’m gonna make you eat your … nose. I’m gonna hurt you bad for this.”

          “Today, Jonathon Munafo is being held accountable for threats made to a Calhoun County dispatcher and her family,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Public servants – particularly those who work in already stressful positions – should not be threatened or intimidated for doing their jobs. This type of behavior will not be tolerated by the FBI, and we will investigate those who threaten our community with violence.” 

          Munafo placed approximately 143 calls to the dispatch center, even though the supervisor pleaded with him to clear the line for emergency calls. Munafo said the dispatcher was risking lives by letting him tie up the line and that after the “Insurrection Act” he was coming to her house first. Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office and FBI investigators determined that Munafo placed the call from a truck stop in North Carolina. The next day (January 6, 2021), Munafo allegedly participated in the assault on the U.S. Capitol.

          Munafo has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. for multiple offenses, including assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police officer.                                

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Topic(s): 
Voting and Elections
Civil Rights
Updated October 26, 2022