River Forest Man Sentenced to More Than 12 Years in Prison for Sending Threats to Kill Chicago Politicians, Local Police, and Others
CHICAGO—A River Forest man was sentenced today to 12 ½ years in federal prison for mailing and e-mailing threatening communications to kill Chicago area politicians and River Forest police officers, as well as oil executives in Texas and California. A jury found the defendant, RONALD HADDAD, Jr., 39, guilty in April 2014 of all 30 counts against him ― 28 counts of mailing threats and two counts of e-mailing threats. U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall imposed the sentence today in Federal Court.
“This is a very serious case, with very real victims,” said Judge Kendall in imposing the sentence, “the response was a tremendous drain on the City.” The judge also ordered Haddad to serve three years of supervised release following his sentence. Haddad is in federal custody, and since he was arrested and charged in 2009, he underwent several mental competency evaluations.
“From December 2007 through January 2009, [Haddad] carried out an unrelenting campaign to terrorize public officials and private citizens in Chicago and across the country. [His] threat letters promised death to anyone who failed to obey him . . . . Terror is what [he] sought, and that is what he achieved,” the government argued in a sentencing memo.
The evidence at trial showed that Haddad sent multiple threatening communications in three waves starting in Dec. 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 Ald. 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 sentencing was 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. Attorney William Ridgway.