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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

North Carolina Inmate Is Sentenced To 30 Months For Threatening To Kill A State Judge, Prosecutor, And Jurors

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Joel Michael Cliett, 45, of Taylorsville, N.C., was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, for mailing a threatening communication, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. 

Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) join Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on August 21, 2020, Cliett sent a threatening communication via U.S. Mail to a state judge in Gaston County. In the letter, Cliett claimed he was wrongly convicted of a crime, and threatened to kill the state judge, the judge’s family, the District Attorney, and the 12 jurors who convicted him of the crime. Cliett further stated in the letter that, “With enough C-4 I can kill all of you through the mail.” Cliett also boasted in the letter that “There is nothing you can do to me.” Cliett sent the threatening letter while he was incarcerated at the Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville, N.C.

Cliett pleaded guilty on May 13, 2021, to mailing a threatening communication. He is currently in federal custody. The sentence of imprisonment was ordered to run consecutive to the North Carolina state sentence he is currently serving associated with his prior state convictions.

The FBI and USPIS investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Odulio, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

Updated September 29, 2021