Man Who Threatened to ‘Put a Bullet’ in Ilhan Omar Is Sentenced to a Year in Prison

Man Who Threatened to ‘Put a Bullet’ in Ilhan Omar Is Sentenced to a Year in Prison

A New York man who threatened to kill Representative Ilhan Omar in a hate-filled call to her office was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, the authorities said.

The man, Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., 56, of Addison, N.Y., pleaded guilty last November to threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official, and to being a felon in possession of firearms. He was sentenced on Friday, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in the Western District of New York.

Mr. Carlineo was also ordered to forfeit six firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

In the call, which was made to the representative’s office in Washington at about 12:20 p.m. on March 21, 2019, Mr. Carlineo repeatedly spoke about violence against Ms. Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota who is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress and wears a hijab on the House floor.

A leading voice in the Democrats’ progressive wing, Ms. Omar is also a prominent critic of President Trump, and in July 2019, she was one of four congresswomen who he said should “go back” to the countries they came from.

“Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood?” Mr. Carlineo asked a member of her staff in the call, according to the criminal complaint.

“Why are you working for her,” he asked, using an obscenity and calling her a “terrorist.” He continued: “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 also recalled Mr. Carlineo saying, “I’ll put a bullet in her [expletive] skull,” according to the complaint.

The threat was referred to the United States Capitol Police, which investigated with the F.B.I.

Days after the phone call, the authorities found a loaded .45-caliber handgun, three rifles, two shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at Mr. Carlineo’s home in western New York, prosecutors said. He had been legally prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a 1998 felony conviction.

During an interview with the F.B.I. at his residence, Mr. Carlineo admitted to making the threatening call, and described himself as a patriot who loved Mr. Trump and hated “radical Muslims in our government,” according to the criminal complaint. He also said that he believed that Ms. Omar supported Islamic militant groups and that her 2018 election to Congress was illegitimate, according to the authorities.

After Mr. Carlineo pleaded guilty last November, Ms. Omar wrote a letter to the judge who was to sentence him, asking for leniency and “for a system of compassion to be applied.”

“The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion,” Ms. Omar wrote in the letter. “He should understand the consequences of his actions, be given the opportunity to make amends and seek redemption.”

Sonya A. Zoghlin, the public defender who represented Mr. Carlineo, said in an email that “a prison sentence is contrary to the spirit of Congresswoman Omar’s letter (and to the views she’s expressed more generally about criminal justice).”

“It’s clear she views incarceration as a last resort — a punishment to be used sparingly and only when necessary to protect the community,” Ms. Zoghlin said. “This is not one of those cases.”

She added, “It certainly doesn’t seem fair that a simple guy with no money or connections should pay this heavy a price.”

Jeremy Slevin, a spokesman for Ms. Omar’s office, declined to comment on the sentencing Tuesday.

Mr. Carlineo’s sentencing follows two other recent convictions of people who phoned or mailed threats to prominent public officials.

In November, a man from western New York, Carlos Bayon, was sentenced in federal court to five years in prison after he was found guilty of making interstate threats to the state offices of two Republican representatives, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington State. In the messages, which were left in June 2018, Mr. Bayon alluded to revenge against the prominent Republicans over the Trump administration’s immigration policies, according to court filings.

And a few months before that, Cesar A. Sayoc Jr., a supporter of Mr. Trump from Florida who mailed homemade pipe bombs to the president’s critics, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Mr. Sayoc had pleaded guilty to mailing 16 bombs in the fall of 2018 to people he considered to be Mr. Trump’s enemies, including former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats.

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