A New York state man convicted of making threats against congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) will spend the next year and a day behind bars.
Patrick W. Carlineo of Addison, New York, was sentenced last Friday in a Rochester, New York, courtroom after he pleaded guilty in November to threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official and being a convicted felon in possession of firearm. Carlineo, 56, was also told to surrender six of his guns and hundreds of rounds of ammo.
According to prosecutors, the defendant placed a threatening phone call to Omar’s office in Washington last March. One of the congresswoman’s staffers answered the call, during which Carlineo pressed her on whether Omar was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Why are you working for her? She is a [expletive] terrorist,” he ranted, adding. “Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull. Back in the day, our forefathers would have put a bullet in her [expletive]. “I’ll put a bullet in her [expletive] skull.”
Carlineo’s sentencing was far more lenient than expected, considering the New York man (who already had a previous conviction from 1998) faced a maximum of 10 years in prison, plus a $250,000 fine for his threats against the Minnesota Democrat. His prior conviction for second-degree criminal mischief that also made him legally unable to possess a gun.
Prosecutors said his crime was retaliatory in nature and based off his belief that Omar, 38, “supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood” and that her election to the U.S. Congress was “illegitimate.”
During his trial, the congresswoman penned a letter to U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci Jr. asking him to have mercy on the man who’d threatened her life.
“Punishing the defendant with a lengthy prison sentence or a burdensome financial fine would not rehabilitate him,” Omar wrote. “It would not repair the harm he has caused. It would only increase his anger and resentment.”
“The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion,” she added.