A Coon Rapids man has admitted making violent threats against a US senator and could face more than two years in prison.
Brendon Michael Daugherty, 35, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on Tuesday to interstate transmission of a threat of injury in connection with phone messages he left at a senator’s field office nearly five months.
Public court records do not identify the target of Daugherty’s threats except to say the senator is not from Minnesota.
The agreement between the defense and federal prosecutors includes the dismissal of the threatening murder charge against a US official.
Daugherty remains in federal custody without bond in Sherburne County Jail.
Federal sentencing guidelines recommend that Daugherty be sentenced to between 15 and 27 months in prison, depending on the impact of his sometimes violent criminal history. However, federal judges have full discretion in sentencing defendants and are not bound by the calculation of the guidelines.
Daugherty’s plea comes just days after a man broke into Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home, beat her husband and sought to kidnap as part of what he has told police was a “suicide mission” to target other California and federal politicians, according to a court filing on Tuesday.
Paul Pelosi, 82, was knocked unconscious by David DePape’s hammer attack and woke up in a pool of his own blood, according to the filing.
Also on Tuesday, United States Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger provided a sobering update on security protocols for members of Congress. Manger said that while many improvements have been made since the attack on the Capitol, including the hiring of nearly 280 officers by the end of this year, “there is still a lot of work to do.”
According to the indictment against Daugherty:
On June 11, Daugherty left two voicemails on the senator’s field office phone. In the first, Daugherty said, “You and the Republican Party should be proud that you’re pushing me to become a domestic terrorist. [expletive] daytime. I can’t wait to kill you.”
In the second message, he said: “I also wanted to point out, thank goodness, that the Republican Party is against gun control laws because it would keep guns out of the hands of a disabled person. and unstable like me, but you guys are totally against that. So maybe I could achieve my nefarious goals.
Field office personnel retrieved and recorded the messages and reported them to the United States Capitol Police.
On September 2, FBI agents spoke to Daugherty at his home. He told them he made those calls because the senator was “doing a lot of nonsense [expletive] with gun control” and that he wants politicians “to feel a bit pressured”.
Daugherty’s criminal history prior to the threatening appeals could weigh heavily on the sentence he will receive.
Court records show he was convicted in October 2018 of two counts of threatening several days in April to burn down a Pearle Vision store in Maple Grove and harm employees. Daugherty was crazy, according to the charges, for more than $80 for replacement glasses.
His criminal record also includes two convictions for theft and one for aggravated theft, burglary, property damage, credit card fraud and fifth degree assault.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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