Addison man pleads guilty to federal charges after threatening to kill U.S. Congresswoman
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WENY) – The Steuben County man who threatened to kill a U.S. congresswoman in the spring has pleaded guilty to charges of threatening to assault and murder a United States official and being a felon in possession of firearms.
As WENY News reported, back in March, Patrick Carlineo called the offices of Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. When a staff member answered, Carlineo said, ““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.”
Prosecutors say Carlineo made the calls to “retaliate against Congresswoman Omar based on her performance of her official duties.” Additionally, they said, “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.”
Staff members referred the threat to the United States Capitol Police, who began an investigation in coordination with the FBI.
In April, investigating police discovered a loaded .45 caliber handgun, three rifles, two shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in Carlineo's Addison home, despite the fact that he is a convicted felon and banned from possessing a firearm.
“This prosecution highlights the fact that the rights secured in our Constitution carry with them certain responsibilities,” said U.S. Attorney James 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 charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Carlineo's sentencing is scheduled for February 14.