- Associated Press - Friday, June 19, 2020

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Southern California man who was convicted of making some 10,000 harassing and threatening telephone calls to government offices, including those of several congressional members, has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison, authorities said.

Robert Eric Stahlnecker, 48, of Twentynine Palms in the Mojave Desert, was sentenced Thursday in Los Angeles, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Prosecutors alleged that Stahlnecker made more than 10,000 calls to government agencies and officials since January 2019.

Last August, he made three calls within five minutes to a congresswoman’s office in San Mateo, California, during which he threatened to come to the office and kill the staffer who answered the phone. In September, he made eight calls to the Washington office of Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, during which Stahlnecker threatened to kill an intern who answered the phone, prosecutors said.

More than half the calls were to the Department of Veterans Affairs complaint line and two U.S. senators from California, according to court papers.

In February, a federal jury convicted him of one count of making threats by interstate commerce and five counts of anonymous telecommunications harassment. The jury acquitted him of two counts of threatening federal employees.

Prosecutors said U.S. Capitol Police had been investigating harassing and threatening calls allegedly made by Stahlnecker for at least 10 years. According to court documents, he was convicted five times for “verbally abusing and threatening government employees.” That included convictions for harassment in New Jersey and making terrorist threats in Pennsylvania.

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