Addison man threatened to put a "bullet ... in [the] skull" of Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota
ROCHESTER | A local man who threatened to kill a member of Congress was sentenced Friday to 12 months plus one day in prison, plus three years of supervised release.
Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., 56, of Addison, was arrested April 5, 2019 and charged with "[threatening] to assault and murder a United States official while she was engaged in the performance of her official duties" -- specifically U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
"Carlineo made the threatening call to retaliate against Congresswoman Omar based on her performance of her official duties," federal prosecutors said in a written statement following the sentencing. "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."
A second charge was added as a result of Carlineo, who is a convicted felon, being found in possession of six firearms of various types and more than 1,300 rounds of ammunition, according to court documents detailing the weapon forfeiture.
He entered a guilty plea to the charges on Nov. 19, 2019.
Prosecutors, arguing for a 12-18 month prison term in a pre-sentence memo to the court, noted that Carlineo’s criminal history includes multiple instances of threats, and sometimes violence, directed at women.
The felony conviction that made Carlineo ineligible to own firearms was for second-degree criminal mischief, but prosecutors said the details of that case, from 1998, are important.
"It is notable that such conviction involved harassing and threatening telephone calls made by the defendant to a female, which ended with the defendant destroying a boat and trailer belonging to the female by arson," officials said in the memo. "The defendant initially received a sentence of probation for that conviction, but violated probation three times and was ultimately re-sentenced to one year in jail. The defendant also has a [second-degree aggravated harassment] conviction from 2000, which involved harassing telephone calls made by the defendant to his ex-wife."
They said the threat against Rep. Omar is evidence that Carlineo has continued that pattern.
"While these convictions are from some time ago, it is apparent that – more than 20 years later – the defendant (who is now 56 years old) has failed to learn or chosen to disregard a simple lesson: that making harassing and threatening telephone calls is an unacceptable way to deal with frustration, rage and resentment," prosecutors told the court in the sentencing memo.
The charges could have carried up to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors said after applying the complex federal sentencing guidelines, the recommendation would have been 21 to 27 months in prison.
An argument for leniency came from an unlikely source.
"The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion," Rep. Omar said in a victim impact statement to the court, which she also released to the public in November 2019. "Punishing the defendant with a lengthy prison sentence or a burdensome financial fine would not rehabilitate him. It would not repair the harm he has caused. It would only increase his anger and resentment."
According to the original criminal complaint, on March 21, 2019 at about 12:20 p.m., a call was received by one of Rep. Omar’s staff in which an an individual asked, "Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a (expletive) terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull."
The complaint stated that Carlineo sounded angry, and yet "spelled his name and provided contact information" on the call.
Carlineo was interviewed March 29 by FBI agents, according to court filings.
In that interview, he reportedly told the agents that "if our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head," referring to Rep. Omar.
"Carlineo stated that he was a patriot, that he loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government," the complaint stated.
Prosecutors said the sentencing was the result of an investigation by the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the United States Capitol Police, under the direction of Chief Matthew R. Verderosa.