Venezuelan Man Admits Making Threatening Calls to Newtown Residents After School Shooting Tragedy
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that WILFRIDO A. CARDENAS HOFFMAN, 31, of El Hatillo, Venezuela, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to making threatening phone calls to residents of Newtown, Connecticut, shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy in December 2012.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 16, 2012, two days after the shooting that claimed 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CARDENAS HOFFMAN used a voice over IP application on an iPod to make numerous phone calls from his home in Venezuela to Newtown residences. In one of the telephone calls, HOFFMAN stated: “This is Adam Lanza. I’m gonna [expletive] kill you. You’re dead. You’re dead. You hear me? You’re dead.” In another phone call, HOFFMAN stated: “This is Adam Lanza. I’m gonna kill you. You’re dead. With my machine gun. You’re dead [expletive].”
The investigation revealed that CARDENAS HOFFMAN made more than 90 calls to approximately 47 telephone numbers of Newtown residences. Not all of the calls were successfully placed and answered.
“As we approach the second anniversary of this terrible event, we remember all of the victims whose lives were lost, and their family and friends who still struggle to manage their grief,” stated U.S. Attorney Daly. “These threatening calls, just two days after the tragedy, compounded the collective suffering of all of the citizens of Newtown and needlessly stressed law enforcement resources at a critical time. It is reprehensible criminal conduct. We are committed to investigating similar hoax crimes and prosecuting all who commit them, here and abroad.”
“Mr. Hoffman’s actions in the days after December 14, 2012, further victimized an already vulnerable community” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Ferrick. “As a society we simply cannot tolerate this type of heinous behavior. Crimes like this will continue to be a priority of the FBI.”
CARDENAS HOFFMAN was charged by criminal complaint on May 20, 2013. The complaint remained sealed until CARDENAS HOFFMAN was arrested on June 21, 2014, in Miami as he transitioned through Miami International Airport en route to Mexico from Venezuela. He has been detained since his arrest.
The charge of making threatening telephone calls carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. CARDENAS HOFFMAN is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea on February 12, 2015.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Krishna Patel and Edward Chang.