U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced Wednesday that Daniel DeGroat, 30, of Middletown, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. mailing threatening communications to a United States judge. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Franz M. Wright and Jonathan P. Cantil, who are handling the case, stated that in November 2020, DeGroat was incarcerated at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, NY. On November 3, 2020, he mailed an envelope from the correctional facility addressed to Victim 1, a United States Judge, which contained a letter threatening to injure Victim 1 and her spouse. DeGroat stated that he hoped to infect Victim 1 with the Coronavirus and terrorize her, and he hoped Victim 1 and her husband died after being infected by the Coronavirus. Also, on November 3, 2020, DeGroat mailed an envelope to Victim 2, a New York State Department of Corrections Official. That letter included threats to injure Victim 2, as well as Victim 2’s spouse. In July 2021, the FBI positively identified DeGroat’s DNA on both letters.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia; and the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 15, 2023, before Judge Sinatra.