(The Hill) — A Florida man was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Friday for making death threats against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Paul Vernon Hoeffer was also sentenced to three years of supervised release. He had pleaded guilty to interstate transmission of threats to injure.
Hoeffer called Pelosi’s office in March of 2019 and Ocasio-Cortez’s office in November 2020, threatening to kill them both, authorities said.
He also called and threatened to kill Chicago District Attorney Kim Foxx (D).
Hoeffer’s lawyer, Michael Ohle, told The Hill he is disappointed in the sentence and said the judge used his client as a deterrent for other offenders.
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He said he argued for a lower sentencing as Hoeffer is battling cancer and incarceration will impact his abilities to communicate with his doctors.
Hoeffer faced up to 15 years in federal prison for his crimes as he said in the calls he wanted to form a “civilian army” for “all-out war.”
The sentencing comes as threats against lawmakers have spiked in recent years, reaching 9,600 in 2021, according to Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger.