A Lenoir City man was sentenced today to 14 months in federal prison for making threats against U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor and his family. From Jamie Satterfield’s report:. U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan approved at a hearing this morning a plea deal that netted Glendon Llewellyn Swift, 63, the 14-month prison term.
Swift’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Jonathan Moffatt, told Varlan that Swift was drunk and grieving the recent death of his wife when, last October, he phoned Cantor’s Virginia office.
Court records state Swift left two voicemails replete with “screaming and ranting of profanities.”
In one call, Swift said, “Let me tell you something, you Republican (expletive), you (expletive, expletive) Jew. I am going to destroy you. … How about if I rape your daughter? How about if I come into your house and kill your wife, Jew boy?”
Swift admitted the calls when the FBI showed up on his doorstep days later.
Swift has already served eight months awaiting today’s sentencing. Varlan ordered him to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse and mental health issues.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man pleaded guilty Tuesday to making threats in profanity-laced voice mails left at U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office.
Glendon Swift, 64, of Lenoir City pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening a family member of a federal official. In return, prosecutors said they would recommend a 13-month sentence. Swift could have faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 4. Swift’s attorney, federal public defender Jonathan Moffatt, declined comment.
An FBI affidavit shows the 64-year-old Swift left two messages at the Republican leader’s suburban Richmond office on Oct. 27, threatening to “destroy” the congressman, making derogatory references to Cantor being Jewish and making threats against family members. The calls were traced to Swift’s cellphone.
In one of the calls, Swift said, “How about if I rape your daughter? How about that, if I come into your house and kill your wife?”
Swift admitted to the FBI that he made the calls to the six-term Republican, saying he “got drunk the other night and started cussing people out.” He said he did not remember threatening the congressman’s family, however.
From the News Sentinel:
A Lenoir City man has struck a deal to plead guilty to telephoning threats to a Virginia congressman’s family.
According to court documents, Glendon Swift, 62, has admitted that he left two anonymous telephone messages at the office of U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va) in October, and said he was drunk when he did so. Swift was ordered detained Friday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley pending a Dec. 20 hearing at which he is expected to plead guilty to one count of threatening a federal official’s family.
The plea deal calls for a 13-month prison term. But U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan must approve it at an April 4 sentencing.
When FBI agents from the Richmond, Va., field office first questioned Swift about the calls, he readily admitted he had made them, court documents state.
Swift “immediately responded that he was aware of why the agents were there and stated that he ‘got drunk the other night and started cussing people out,’ ” a court document states.
Swift, after consulting with an attorney, has signed a plea agreement. He has also agreed to have the case handled in Knoxville instead of Virginia.
The calls were made on Swift’s cellphone. They were “laden with the screaming and ranting of profanities,” and made derogatory references to the fact that Cantor is Jewish.
In one of the calls, Swift says: “How about if I rape your daughter? How about that, if I come into your house and kill your wife.”
Available court documents do not indicate Swift’s motive in making the call.
News release from U.S. Attorney’s office in Virginia (h/t Politico):
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Glendon Swift, 62, of Lenoir City, Tenn., was arrested late yesterday for allegedly making threats against the family of Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Michael F. A. Morehart, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement.
“Threatening to harm the family of a public official is a very serious charge, and we are grateful to the FBI and their law enforcement partners for their quick action in this case,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride.
Swift was charged by criminal complaint of threatening to assault or murder a member of the immediate family of a United States official. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He made an initial appearance before the Honorable C. Clifford Shirley, Jr., United States Magistrate Judge, in Knoxville, Tenn., this afternoon.
According to court documents, an unknown male left two voicemail messages with Rep. Cantor’s Glen Allen, Va., office the evening of Oct. 27, 2011. The screaming, profanity-laden messages allegedly stated that the caller was going to destroy Rep. Cantor, rape his daughter and kill his wife. A Congressional staff member retrieved the messages, alerted the U.S. Capitol Police, which sought the assistance of the FBI to identify and locate the individual who made the calls.
Swift was identified as the individual who subscribed to the phone number used to make the call. He was arrested without incident on Nov. 2, 2011 by the FBI in Knoxville and the Lenoir City Police Department after having been interviewed by law enforcement, and allegedly admitted to making the threatening phone calls to Rep. Cantor’s office.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Richmond and Knoxville Field Offices, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Lenoir City Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jamie L. Mickelson is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.