Grand Island Man Arrested For Leaving Threatening Voicemails For Two U.S. Congressmen
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Carlos Bayon, 63, of Grand Island, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with interstate communication of a threat. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Bonanno, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on June 30, 2018, the Louisiana office of a United States Congressman (Congressman One) received a threatening voicemail. A congressional staff member reached out to the United States Capitol Police to report the threat. The voicemail stated:
“Hey listen, this message is for you and the people that sent you there. You are taking ours, we are taking yours. Anytime, anywhere. We know where they are. We are not going to feed them sandwiches, we are going to feed them lead. Make no mistake you will pay. Ojo por ojo, diente por diente (This is Spanish for “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”). That is our law and we are the majority. Have a good day.”
The call was traced to the defendant Carlos Bayon.
Also on June 30, 2018, the Washington State office of another United States Congressman (Congressman Two) received a threatening voicemail with the same message. That call as well was traced to the defendant.
“Though the government cannot force people to respect one another, the government can force people to respect the rule of law by prosecuting those who break it,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “If someone disagrees with a law, then the Constitution specifies the means to be pursued to have that law changed. Threats to lawmakers are not an acceptable means to accomplish that objective. Our country and our democracy are founded upon the principle of self-governance. Self-governance, however, is not the same as the unrestrained pursuit of self-interest—that is simply selfishness. These days it seems that too many people are willing to ignore their obligation to obey the laws as they are written. While disrespect for the rule of law can cost individuals, such as this defendant, their liberty, the cost to society can be even greater as it robs us of both the mores and means to be able to govern ourselves.”
“The Bureau and our federal partners continue to play key roles in combating violent crime and threats of violence in big cities and local communities,” said Gary Loeffert, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI's Buffalo Office. “We treat every threat like it's real until we can prove otherwise. Freedom of speech does not include using words to intimidate others -- Constitutional protections do not extend to threatening phone calls.”
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the United States Capitol Police, under the direction of Chief Matthew R. Verderosa, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.