Florida Man Admits Mailing Death Threats to Connecticut Residents
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GARRETT SANTILLO, 35, last residing in Hollywood, Fla., pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to mailing numerous threatening letters to individuals in Connecticut, including two federal judges and Connecticut’s governor.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on July 15, 2014, a federal judge received a threatening letter at his Connecticut residence via the U.S. Postal Service. The letter was postmarked on July 11, 2014, from Miami, but did not bear a return address. The letter writer made certain demands and stated “You (sic) home addresses in Conn. are public information and if you mask your identity by name or appearance, we can still track you to wherever you go and will kill you if you don’t follow what this letter instructs.”
Following the judge’s receipt of the threatening letter, approximately 14 other individuals in Connecticut, including another federal judge and the governor of Connecticut, also received letters containing death threats. All of the letters were handwritten, were mailed from the Miami area to the victims’ home addresses in Connecticut, did not bear a return address, contained a demand for action and threatened death if the recipient failed to comply with the writer’s request.
The investigation revealed that SANTILLO wrote and mailed the threatening letters. He was arrested at his Florida residence on September 29, 2014. SANTILLO pleaded guilty to one count of mailing threatening communications, which carries maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on May 27, 2015.
SANTILLO, who has been detained since his arrest, has two prior federal convictions for sending threatening communications.
This matter has been investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut State Police, the Yale University Police Department and the Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Dayton.