ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A western New York man who admitted phoning a death threat to Minnesota Congresswoman Ihan Omar has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison by a federal judge.
Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., 56, of Addison, New York, pleaded guilty in November of last year to charges of threatening to assault and murder Omar and being a felon in possession of firearms.
Chief U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci Jr. sentenced Carlineo on Thursday.
Omar, the first woman Muslim elected to Congress, sent a letter to the judge recommending “compassion” for Carlieno, saying he should get an opportunity to “make amends and seek redemption.”
Her letter added: “Punishing the defendant with a lengthy prison sentence or a burdensome financial fine would not rehabilitate him. It would not repair the harm he as caused. It would only increase his anger and resentment.”
Carlineo made the threatening call to the congresswoman’s Washington office on March 21, 2019, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett Harvey, who prosecuted the case. He said Carlineo viewed Omar as a radical Muslim who supported terrorist groups and that her election to Congress was illegitimate.
Harvey said a member of Omar’s staff answered Carlineo’s call, and stated he asked: “Do you work for the Muslin Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a (expletive) terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull. Back in the day, our forefathers would have put a bullet in her. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) head.”
The threat was referred to the Capitol Police, who began an investigation in concert with the FBI. Agents raided Carlineo’s home in western New York in April of last year and discovered a loaded .45 caliber handgun, three rifles, two shotguns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Carlineo had previously been convicted of criminal mischief, prohibiting him from possessing guns. Thus he was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms in addition to the charges of threatening to assault and murder Omar.
The 37-year-old Omar, a Democrat, was elected in 2018 to the U.S. House from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in Minneapolis. She was a child refugee from the wars in Somalia, Africa.