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Man pleads guilty to threatening federal judge

June 5, 2012

Editor's note: This story has been updated with sentencing information.

A man who authorities said threatened a federal judge pleaded guilty to a charge of mailing threatening communications and was sentenced to more than nine years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Janes Magnus-Stinson sentenced Michael F. Disch, 43, to 110 months, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Joe Hogsett said Tuesday.

Disch pleaded guilty to charges that he sent a letter in 2009 to U.S. Southern District of Indiana Judge Larry McKinney in Terre Haute that included a white powder and the instructions, “smell this and die.” Disch also wrote that he would pay someone to find where McKinney lived and would have him and members of his family killed.

Disch was arrested after an investigation by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“This office made a commitment last year to do all within our power to ensure the safety of all those who work in or around the federal prison system,” Hogsett said. “Hoax cases such as this one also highlight the importance of remaining ever-vigilant of the very real threat that terrorism poses.”

Magnus-Stinson also imposed special conditions of probation to include participation in a substance abuse treatment program as directed by the probation officer.
 

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