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Michigan prisoner sentenced for mailing threatening letters to state and federal judges

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Posted at 8:49 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 20:49:29-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan Department of Corrections prisoner has been sentenced to 112 months in federal prison for mailing threatening communications to state and federal judges. He is 34-year-old Nathon James Zink.

Between August-September 2020, Zink sent the threatening letters through the U.S. Postal service while he was an inmate at a Michigan Department of Corrections facility. The letters made threats to extort, kidnap, sexually assault, and kill judges, as well as their family members. A letter that was sent to the U.S. District Court in Kalamazoo said that it contained anthrax. However, investigators determined that the letter did not actually contain anthrax and was safe.

Zink pled guilty to one count of mailing a threatening communication and one count of mailing a threatening communication to a federal employee on March 8, 2022. He was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Hala Y. Jarbou, who ordered that the sentence be served consecutively to the state court sentences. After Zink is released from prison, he will be on supervised release for three years.

“Mailing threatening communications is a serious federal crime and Mr. Zink’s threats were especially depraved,” said Mark Totten, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. “No one should have to live in fear based on threats like these. My office will not hesitate to prosecute these crimes, especially when the targets are public officials who play a critical role upholding our democracy.”

“Nathon Zink’s actions were intended to incite fear and intimidate members of our state and local judicial system,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Threats of violence against public servants have no place in our society and the FBI will use every available resource to disrupt and investigate those threats.”

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