Illinois Resident Pleads Guilty to Mailing Threats to Metro-Atlanta Area Schools
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 27, 2012|
ATLANTA—VALTREZ STEWART, 29, of Oak Lawn, Illinois, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal district court to mailing threats to Atlanta area schools.
Unites States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “School should be a place where students are safe. All threats to harm schools, students, teachers, and school personnel will be taken seriously by law enforcement, regardless of whether the threat later is revealed to be a hoax.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: STEWART mailed threats to at least four different schools between January 28, 2011, and February 2, 2011. The threats contained collages of newspaper and magazine clippings of words and numbers. The messages claimed, in part, that a bomb would detonate at the school killing at least 20 people, and promised brutal murders if money was not paid to certain individuals by a certain date. STEWART pleaded guilty to mailing the threats to Northview High School, Marietta High School, Stephenson Middle School, and Meadowcreek High School, all in the Atlanta metro area. Further investigation revealed that STEWART made the threats in hopes of getting law enforcement agencies to begin contacting and investigating people who STEWART personally disliked and sought to have targeted for making the deadly threats.
STEWART was indicted in July 2011. Today he pleaded guilty to four counts of mailing threatening communications. He could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 28, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., before United States District Judge Willis B. Hunt.
This case is being investigated by task force officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Tracia M. King is prosecuting the case.
For further information, please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.