A Smithtown man was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday for threatening to assault and kill two U.S. senators for their support of the nomination and confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, according to the U.S. attorney.
Ronald DeRisi, 75, was sentenced by United States Circuit Judge Joseph F. Bianco at the federal courthouse in Central Islip. He pleaded guilty to the charges in February.
As part of his sentence, he was also ordered to forfeit two firearms to the United States.
Last year, DeRisi called and left 12 anonymous, threatening voice-messages at the offices of the two senators, both of whom were publicly supporting the nomination and confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
His threats, which were made both before and after Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation, included threatening to shoot one of the senators in the head with a 9mm firearm.
When DeRisi was arrested in October 2018, officers recovered live 9mm ammunition during the execution of a search warrant at his home.
"Our political process allows for vigorous debate, but not destruction," United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said. "Threatening to harm or kill elected officials because one disagrees with their public positions goes far beyond the scope of the First Amendment and will not be tolerated. We will not allow individuals to influence political decision-making through criminal threats"