Michigan Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Threatening Violence Against Jewish Community Online

“A 20-year-old Michigan resident, Seann Patrick Pietila from Pickford, has been handed a sentence of one year and a day in federal prison for using social media to issue violent threats against Jewish individuals. Pietila, who pleaded guilty in November to transmitting threatening communications across state lines via social media, was found to have expressed sympathy towards neo-Nazi ideology, antisemitism, and past mass shooters in his messages, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan.

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten emphasized the swift action taken to identify and prevent hate crimes, stating, “Today and every day we will take swift action to detect and disrupt hate crimes. No Michigander should live in fear because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or any other protected status.” Alongside his prison term, Pietila has been ordered to pay over $10,600 in restitution and will be subject to three years of supervised release after serving his sentence.

Despite prosecutors initially seeking a nearly three-year prison sentence, Pietila received a more lenient sentence. The state Federal Public Defender’s office cited his lack of prior criminal record and expression of remorse for his actions as mitigating factors.”

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