Longview, WA – A 48-year-old Longview, Wash. man was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with making interstate threats to members of Congress, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.
Allegedly, Mark Leonetti repeatedly called U.S. Senators and Representatives, leaving voicemails filled with graphic threats.
According to an affidavit filed Monday by the FBI, Leonetti allegedly left hundreds of antisemitic and slur-laden voicemails that threatened extreme violence on several Congresspeople as well as Capitol Police.
U.S. Attorney Brown said horrifying and graphic threats of harm are always unacceptable.
“And we must always take threats of political violence seriously,” Brown said.
The affidavit states that in 2021, the caller’s number was tracked to addresses linked to Leonetti in Vancouver, Wash. and the Portland area. Law enforcement and mental health professionals visited him.
“Mr. Leonetti refused to stop his conduct despite contact with law enforcement and mental health personnel,” Brown said. “We acted now because it has become clear it is the only way to safeguard the community and those serving it.”
In early September 2022, he allegedly left threatening voicemails for a congresswoman, triggering another visit from mental health professionals.
In late September and October, Leonetti left threatening voicemails for a different senator and a congressman. Then again on Dec. 5., he again left voicemails with threats of “murder” and his intent to “kill” certain individuals, according to the affidavit.
Making interstate threats is punishable by up to five years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.