Man Pleads Guilty To Threatening Katko Over Net-Neutrality

Syracuse, N.Y. - A Syracuse man has admitted to making threats against Congressman John Katko and his family. 

28 Year old  Patrick D Angelo pleaded guilty to interstate communication of a threat. Angelo left a threatening voice mail message for Katko at his Washington D.C. office. 

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?” 

The message continued: “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).”

Security was increased for Katko after the threat was made. Angelo could face 5 years in prison when sentenced in June.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy said, “While citizens are certainly entitled to communicate their views on issues of importance to them to their elected officials, there are and must be bounds to the manner in which such views may be expressed. As today’s plea makes clear, defendant overstepped those bounds. By making threats to the lives of Congressman Katko and his family, the defendant potentially faces not only a significant prison sentence but also, as a convicted felon, a loss of his right to vote. Ironically, yet fittingly, by abandoning rationale discourse and resorting to threats against a public official, the defendant has essentially rendered himself a mute in the political process. As a democratic republic, we cannot and will not tolerate true threats against those in public office.”

The case was handled by Federal prosecutors from the Western District of New York. The U.S. Attorney in the Northern District recused the office from the case because Katko served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District before serving in Congress. 

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