Time served for man who threatened Trump with package he said was ‘detonator’

A man from Long Island, New York, has been sentenced on charges of threatening then-President Donald Trump and the White House complex during a March 2017 incident.

Jean-Paul Gamarra, 45, of Copiague, was sentenced Thursday after being found guilty on May 27, 2021, of one count each of “threats to the president and threatening and conveying false information concerning the use of an explosive” following a trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, according to the Justice Department.

Gamarra, who has been in custody for 41 months, was sentenced to time served, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said “is an effective sentence at the higher end of the applicable guidelines range.”

Under U.S. District Judge John D. Bates’ sentencing order, Gamarra will be placed on three years of supervised release.

During that period, Gamarra has to stay away from the White House, maintain mental health treatment, cooperate with the Secret Service in assessing his future risk and avoid all physical and online contact with anyone the Secret Service protects.

On the morning of March 28, 2017, Gamarra approached a uniformed, on-duty Secret Service officer a pedestrian access gate on Pennsylvania Avenue, within 100 yards of the White House.

As established at trial, he presented the officer with a package, stating it contained a “nuclear bomb detonator” that was being presented for “safekeeping.”

“Warning this is a tre threat on the President and Senator life” and “Warning 100% threat Brand New Electronic Detonator Device,” were handwritten on the package along with Gamarra’s name and address.

In response, the Secret Service cleared the surrounding area, including the north fence line of the White House, Lafayette Park and other areas near 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

People inside nearby buildings were told to shelter in place while the D.C. police department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit evaluated the package.

The package was declared “safe” and the area reopened after approximately 90 minutes, as the package contained a Bluetooth keyboard and letter.

Gamarra was arrested at the scene and was in custody until August 2020, according to a Justice Department news release.

Previously In 2014, Gamarra was interviewed by members of the Secret Service regarding threats to then-President Barack Obama.

The Justice Department said he admitted threatening Obama in order to gain the “attention” of the Secret Service so he could “expose” “corruption.”

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Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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