Suburban Chicago Man Sentenced to More Than Three Years in Federal Prison for Threatening Violence at 2021 Presidential Inauguration

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

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago man was sentenced today to more than three years in federal prison for sending a series of threatening phone calls to various members of the United States Congress and threatening to commit violence at the 2021 presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman sentenced LOUIS CAPRIOTTI, 47, of Chicago Heights, Ill., to 37 months in prison.  Capriotti pleaded guilty last fall to a federal charge of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce.  He has been in federal custody since his arrest on Jan. 12, 2021, and will receive credit for time already served.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police participated in the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys James P. Durkin and William Dunne represented the government.

In a Dec. 29, 2020, voicemail for a U.S. House member, Capriotti stated that if certain individuals “think that Joe Biden is going to put his hand on the Bible and walk into that [expletive] White House on January 20th, they’re sadly [expletive] mistaken.”  Capriotti further stated in the voicemail, “We will surround the [expletive] White House and we will kill any [expletive] Democrat that steps on the [expletive] lawn.”

Capriotti in November and December 2020 left other threatening messages on the voicemail systems of other members of Congress, during which he falsely stated that he was an active U.S. Marine and referred to certain members of Congress as “terrorists.”

“Capriotti’s crime was a serious offense,” Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Durkin argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “Such threats must be taken seriously because they have real implications for the victims receiving them.”