Steuben County Man Pleads Guilty To Threatening To Kill A U.S. Congresswoman And Illegally Possessing Firearms
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Patrick W. Carlineo, Jr., 55, of Addison, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to threatening to assault and murder a United States official, and being a felon in possession of firearms. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey, who is handling the case, stated that on March 21, 2019, at approximately 12:20 p.m., the defendant placed a telephone call to the offices of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Member of the United States Congress from the 5th Congressional District in Minnesota, in Washington, D.C. A member of Congresswoman Omar’s staff answered the call. During the call, the defendant stated, “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a (expletive) terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull. Back in the day, our forefathers would have put a bullet in her (expletive).” The staff member recalled that the defendant stated, “I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull.”
Carlineo made the threatening call to retaliate against Congresswoman Omar based on her performance of her official duties. Because he hates individuals he views as radical Muslims being in the United States government, he believed that Congresswoman Omar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and that Congresswoman Omar’s election to the United States Congress was illegitimate.
After receiving the call, the threat was referred to the United States Capitol Police, Threat Assessment Section, who began an investigation in coordination with the FBI.
In addition, on April 5, 2019, the defendant – a previously convicted felon – possessed a load .45 caliber handgun, three rifles, two shotguns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at his residence in Addison, NY. In 1998, the defendant was convicted of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree in Steuben County Court. In view of that conviction defendant was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
“This prosecution highlights the fact that the rights secured in our Constitution carry with them certain responsibilities,” noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “The First Amendment right to freedom of speech carries with it the responsibility that individuals not make threats to harm lawmakers simply because they may disagree with them. The Second Amendment right to bear arms carries with it the responsibility that individuals who desire to possess firearms not commit felony crimes. This Office remains vigilant in upholding the rule of law and reinforcing the notion that—above all else—our Nation’s founders viewed self-governance as the responsibility that each citizen has to control and govern their own behavior.”
The plea is the result of an investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the United States Capitol Police, under the direction of Matthew R. Verderosa.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 14, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. before Chief Judge Geraci.
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