Threats to Congress get man 1 year, 3 months in prison

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man convicted of making threatening phone calls to three members of Congress was sentenced Tuesday to a year and three months in federal prison.

Frank Anthony Pezzuto, 73, of Venice, was sentenced in Tampa federal court, according to court records. A jury found him guilty in November on three counts of using interstate communications to make threats against members of Congress. Pezzuto must also pay a fine of $7,500.

According to an indictment, Pezzuto made three threatening phone calls in early 2020 from his Florida home to congressional offices in Washington, D.C. Court records identify the members of Congress only by their initials, not their full names.

Pezzuto left a voicemail Jan. 25, 2020, at one congressman’s office saying he was coming to kill the representative, the indictment says. Then on Jan. 30, it says, Pezzuto left a voicemail at another congressman’s office saying that he worked for criminal gang MS-13 and that MS-13 was coming to cut off the elected official’s head. The final call was made Feb. 3, when Pezzuto called a congresswoman’s office and said to the person who answered the phone, “Tell her I’m going to kill her today,” the indictment says.

Pezzuto used his cellphone to make all three calls but attempted to hide his phone number and disguise his voice, prosecutors said. U.S. Capitol Police said they were able to identify Pezzuto as the caller and confirm that the calls had been routed through a cell tower near Pezzuto’s home in Florida.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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