SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A New York man has pleaded guilty to making threatening phone calls to Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, federal prosecutors announced.
Joseph Morelli, 51, admitted to threatening to harm Greene in several March 2022 calls to her Washington, D.C., office, the U.S. attorney's office in Syracuse said in a news release Wednesday.
In one voicemail message, according to prosecutors, Morelli said, “I’m gonna hurt you. Physically, I’m gonna harm you.” In another, prosecutors said, he threatened to “pay someone 500 bucks to take a baseball bat and crack your skull.” In a third call, Morelli said he would “make sure that, even if they lock me up, someone’s gonna get you ’cause I’ll pay them to,” prosecutors said.
Morelli, of Endicott, New York, was indicted in April 2022 on three counts of transmitting interstate threatening communications. Endicott is a village located about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of the city of Binghamton.
Morelli pleaded guilty on Wednesday and faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced on June 1, prosecutors said.
A message seeking comment was left with Morelli's attorney at the federal public defender’s office.
Greene, who was first elected to Congress in 2020, has been criticized for embracing conspiracy theories and suggesting that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be executed for treason.
A phone message seeking comment on Morelli's guilty plea was left with Greene's office.