The Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York has confirmed the arrest of a 55-year-old man for allegedly uttering death threats to a member of the U.S. Congress. The New York man was arrested after allegedly calling the offices of Rep. Ilhan Omar. The man appeared before a magistrate on April 5, and was set to attend a detention hearing on April 10, presumably alongside his criminal defense counsel.
According to the report, which was compiled by the FBI on March 21, the man apparently called the office of the second-ever Muslim representative elected to Congress. The report claims the man repeatedly swore at the staffer who answered the phone, accusing Rep. Omar of being a "terrorist" and asking whether the staffer worked for the Muslim Brotherhood. The man reportedly sounded "angry" on the phone, but also curiously provided accurate contact information and the spelling of his name to the staffer.
The man now faces charges of uttering death threats, including threats to assault and/or murder. If he is convicted, authorities say he could face up to 10 years in prison, a fine totaling $250,000, or even both. However, he will have an opportunity to challenge these charges in court.
This is where the man's criminal defense counsel will play an integral role in the justice process. The burden of proof lies with federal prosecutors in New York to provide compelling evidence in support of the criminal charges. His defense team will examine all evidence, and focus on preserving the man's legal rights while fighting for a beneficial result.