River Forest Man Guilty of Sending Threats to Kill Chicago Politicians, Local Police, and Texas and California Oil Executives
CHICAGO—A federal jury today convicted a River Forest man of mailing and e-mailing threatening communications to kill Chicago-area politicians, River Forest police officers, as well as oil executives in Texas and California. The defendant, RONALD HADDAD, Jr., 38, was found guilty of all 30 counts against him―28 counts of mailing threats and two counts of e-mailing threats.
The jury deliberated less than four hours this afternoon following a trial that began last Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall set sentencing for July 21. Haddad faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. The court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statues and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
Haddad remains in federal custody without bond while awaiting sentencing. He has been in custody most of the time since he was arrested and charged in 2009, and during that time he underwent several mental competency evaluations.
The evidence at trial showed that Haddad sent multiple threatening communications in three waves starting in December 2007, again in June and July 2008, and again in January 2009. The first group of letters, addressed to individuals such as former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and former Chicago Alderman Bernard Stone, contained white powder. The letters in June and July 2008 contained a brown substance, and the letters and packages in January 2009 contained an oily substance or shotgun shells that appeared to be rigged to explode. None of the substances or shells proved to be harmful, but witnesses who opened the letters and packages testified that they were fearful when they opened them.
The guilty verdicts were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of investigation; and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Thompson and William Ridgway.