Syracuse man pleads guilty to threatening to kill Rep. Katko, family
The Syracuse man who was charged with threatening to kill Rep. John Katko over net neutrality last fall pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to the U.S. District Attorney's Office.
Patrick D. Angelo, 28, of Syracuse, admitted to the charge of interstate communication of a threat. The charge carries a maximum of five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig R. Gestring of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York in Rochester, Angelo called the congressman's Washington, D.C. office on Oct. 19 and left a threatening voice mail that included a death threat to Katko and his family.
The message stated:
Listen Mr. Katko, if you support net neutrality, I will support you. But if you don’t support net neutrality, I will find you and your family and I will kill…you…all. Do you understand? I will literally find all…of…you and your progeny and t- just wipe you from the face of the earth. Net neutrality is more important than the defense of the United States. Net neutrality is more important than free speech. Net neutrality is more important than health care. Net neutrality is literally the basis of the new society. That even if you don’t understand, how important it is, net neutrality is literally the basis of the new…free…society. So if you don’t support it, I am willing to lay down my li- (recording ends).
The message was not heard by the office for four days due to the volume of calls the office received, according to court documents. Katko's office reported the voicemail to the United States Capitol Police, Threat Assessment Section, which began an investigation in coordination with the FBI, the DA's Office said. The telephone number that the call originated from traced back to the defendant, officials said.
According to federal court documents, Angelo met with federal agents at a Syracuse-area McDonald's where he at first denied making the threatening call, but then admitted to it because he was upset about net neutrality.
Angelo is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced on June 21 by U.S. District Judge Mae A. D'Agostino.