Man Indicted for Sending Threatening Communications

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

BOSTON – A man has been indicted in connection with sending threatening communications to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Drummond Neil Smithson, 30, was indicted on one count of use of interstate communications to transmit a threat to injure.

According to the indictment, on or about July 19, 2020, Smithson, an Army veteran, mailed a threatening communication from Ayer, Mass., to the Department of Veterans Affairs threatening to injure members of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots organization advocating for the end to gun violence. It is alleged that Smithson threatened, among other things, “If you take my pension there is going to be retaliation,” and, “You take my pension and the second I get out of prison I will go to a Moms Demand Action meeting […] Try me.”

The charge of use of interstate communications to transmit a threat to injure provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today.  Valuable assistance was provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General; Federal Bureau of Investigations, Miami Field Office; and Federal Medical Center, Devens, Special Investigations Section. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Noto of Rollins’ Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.