‘Me and My Crew Burn N—ers Alive’: Massachusetts Troll Who Sent Racist Death Threats to Couple Through Facebook Messenger Now Faces Prison Time

A Boston-area man was sentenced to spend more than seven years in prison for racially harassing an interracial couple he never met using social media.

Federal authorities said Stephen DeBerardinis sent several racist slurs and threats to a couple — a white woman and a Black man — on Facebook Messenger starting on Jan. 6, 2021.

Even though DeBerardinis didn’t know the couple personally, prosecutors said he saw their engagement photos and announcement in December 2020 through a mutual Facebook friend.

'Me and My Crew Burn N---ers Alive': Massachusetts Man Sent to Prison for Sending Racist Death Threats to Couple Through Facebook Messenger
Stephen M. DeBerardinis, 48, of Boston and Dedham, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 90 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts. (Photo: Facebook/Stephen DeBerardinis)

Using his own Facebook account, he started sending them a slew of racist messages, including one that said, “EWWWWWWWW YOUR A N***** F***** F****** DIRTY A** WHITE TRASH.”

When the couple told him they were reporting him to the police, DeBerardinis replied, “SNITCHES GET STITCHES,” with a picture of brass knuckles. He also wrote, “Read up more on me lol… you will see how me and my crew burn n*****s alive,” and “And white whores like you well [sic]…. get rape and killed THAN [sic] we cut off body parts and mail them to your family lol.”

The victims called local police, who contacted federal law enforcement.

In March 2024, DeBerardinis pleaded guilty to ‘transmitting in interstate commerce threats” to injure a person, tampering with a witness and victim by intimidation, threats, and corrupt persuasion, and tampering with a witness and victim by harassment.

Federal authorities said his Facebook account contains numerous race-motivated posts filled with hate speech and white supremacist symbolism.

A judge sentenced him to seven years and six months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Court documents show DeBerardinis has a lengthy criminal history. His record reveals he was arrested more than 100 times in the last 24 years and previously convicted for threats, intimidation, false reports of a crime, impersonation of a police officer, and larceny, among other crimes.

A search of his home revealed he owned over 70 knives, 22 brass knuckles, swords, bullets, black powder for guns, stun guns, rifles, and several other weapons that were seized by authorities.

“The toxic brew of racist hate, threats of violence and use of social media to amplify vile and violent attitudes is a corrosive danger to every law-abiding member of our community. The nearly eight-year sentence imposed on this defendant should send a message that when you engage in hate crimes, there is a serious price to be paid,” Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy said.

Earlier this month, school officials in Southborough, Massachusetts, reported that one of their teachers was on paid leave for staging a mock slave auction in class with “students of color” and saying the N-word while reading a book that didn’t contain the slur.

In March, six middle school students in Southwick, Massachusetts, were charged for allegedly starting and facilitating a mock slave auction in a Snapchat group that targeted their Black classmates.

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