BRUNSWICK, GA: A Glynn County man awaits sentencing after admitting in U.S. District Court that he threatened to blow up an Internal Revenue Service office in New York.
Benjamin Stasko, 34, of St. Simons Island, pled guilty to Interstate Transmission of a Threat to Injure, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charge carries a possible sentence of up to five years in federal prison, along with substantial financial penalties and up to three years of supervised release after completion of any prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
“We will not tolerate threats of violence against public institutions, and will vigorously pursue anyone who would perpetrate such crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “Benjamin Stasko’s admission of guilt will deliver justice for his dangerous and ill-advised threat.”
Stasko admitted that on July 6, 2020, he posted a comment on a federal agency’s website, alleging that a pipe bomb had been planted in the Ted Weiss Federal Building in New York, New York, as a threat directed toward the Internal Revenue Service. Federal Protective Service officers with bomb sniffing dogs and officers from the New York Police Department searched the facility and found no explosives. Investigators later located and arrested Stasko in St. Simons.
“One of the core tenets of the mission of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is to protect IRS personnel and property,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector for Tax Administration. “We are grateful for the assistance of our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office ensuring this individual is held to account.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; the New York Police Department and the Brunswick Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys E. Gregory Gilluly Jr. and Joshua S. Bearden.