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Venice man sentenced to 15 months for threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar, other lawmakers

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Venice man was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison Tuesday after he threatened the life of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, and other lawmakers.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Frank Anthony Pezzuto, 73, made three phone calls in January 2020 threatening the lives of three lawmakers, identified by the initials E.S., A.S., and I.O. in the release.

In the call to A.S.’s office, Pezzuto said he was a member of MS-13 and that the gang was going to cut off his head. Meanwhile, Pezzuto told the person who picked up for I.O.’s office. to “tell her I’m going to kill her today.”

The DOJ said each phone was made with Pezzuto’s cellphone as he tried to conceal his number and change his voice. Despite his efforts, Capitol police identified Pezzuto as the suspect and tracked his number back to Florida.

After News Channel 8 reported Pezzuto’s conviction last November, Omar tweeted about the matter, saying that the threats being made to lawmakers must end.

“The use of violent rhetoric in political speech is incitement & is definitely creating an environment where members of Congress are receiving constant death threats. Enough!” she wrote.

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