Man is charged with mailing death threats to CT governor, judges

A man has been charged by federal indictment with mailing numerous threatening letters to individuals in Connecticut, including two federal judges and the state’s governor.

Garrett Santillo, 35, recently residing in Hollywood, Fla., was charged in a nine-count indictment with writing and mailing the threatening letters.

A federal grand jury in New Haven returned the indictment in late September and Santillo has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in federal court.

‘We ... will kill you’

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, on July 15 a federal judge received a threatening letter at his Connecticut residence via the U.S. Postal Service. The letter was postmarked on July 11 from Miami, but did not bear a return address.

The letter writer made certain demands and stated “You (sic) home addresses in Conn. are public information and if you mask your identity by name or appearance, we can still track you to wherever you go and will kill you if you don’t follow what this letter instructs.”

Following the judge’s receipt of the threatening letter, about 14 other individuals in Connecticut, including another federal judge and the governor of Connecticut, also received letters containing death threats.

Prosecutors said all of the letters were handwritten, were mailed from the Miami area to the victims’ home addresses in Connecticut, did not bear a return address, contained a demand for action, and threatened death if the recipient failed to comply with the writer’s request.

Facing 60 years in prison

The indictment charges Santillo with:

— two counts of impeding, intimidating, influencing or retaliating against a federal judge by threats, which carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count.

— seven counts of mailing threatening communications, one of which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and six of which carry a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

FBI and other agencies involved

The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut. It has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford federal court.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut State Police, the Yale University Police Department and the Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

The case is being prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorney Tracy Dayton in the Connecticut office.