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United States of America v. Suzanne Craft
Case Number: 3:22-cr-00094
Judge: David J. Hale
Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky (Jefferson County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Louisville
Description: Louisville, Kentucky Criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with mailing communications containing threats to injure others in November and December 2020.
Suzanne Craft, 54, of Louisville, sent multiple threating communications via the United States Postal Service to a family that lived in her Lake Forrest neighborhood. Many of these communications contained threats of violence and racial slurs. The jury convicted Craft of five counts of mailing threatening communications.
“Holding people accountable for threats and intimidation based on race is a top priority of the Department,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We are grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their professional and diligent pursuit of this case.”
“I commend the outstanding work of the FBI’s Louisville Public Corruption Task Force, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and the assigned prosecutors during the investigation and trial of this case,” said U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky. “This office, working together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute threats of violence and raced based intimidation throughout the Western District.”
“Receiving violent, hate-filled threats can have a devastating and lifelong impact on the victim. These senseless acts violate the law, run contrary to our values as Americans and defy the principles of tolerance that define our community,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office. “Through the great work of the Public Corruption/Civil Rights Task Force, and that of our federal prosecutive partners, we were able to hold Kraft accountable for her actions. Our hearts are with the victims of these crimes, we appreciate their strength to come forward, and we hope this brings some semblance of closure to this ordeal.”
“Keeping the U.S. mailstream safe for all Americans is a priority for the USPIS,” said Inspector in Charge Lesley Allison of the USPIS Pittsburgh Division. “Threats of violence in the mail, especially those which are racially motivated, will not be tolerated. We work diligently with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice anyone who mails such threats.”
The jury further found that for each of these five counts, Craft sent the threatening communications to her neighbors because of their actual or perceived race or color.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 21, before a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky. Craft remains in federal custody pending sentencing and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. There is no parole in the federal system.
Assistant Attorney General Clarke, U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office and USPIS in Charge Lesley Allison of the Pittsburgh Division made the announcement.
The FBI Louisville Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force and the USPIS are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Tieke and Stephanie Zimdahl for the Western District of Kentucky are prosecuting the case, with assistance from paralegal Carissa Moss, and with assistance in the investigation from Trial Attorney Mary Hahn of the Civil Rights Division.
18:876(c) COMMUNICATION WITH THREAT TO KIDNAP OR INJURE
(a) Whoever knowingly deposits in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter, to be sent or delivered by the Postal Service or knowingly causes to be delivered by the Postal Service according to the direction thereon, any communication, with or without a name or designating mark subscribed thereto, addressed to any other person, and containing any demand or request for ransom or reward for the release of any kidnapped person, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
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(c) Whoever knowingly so deposits or causes to be delivered as aforesaid, any communication with or without a name or designating mark subscribed thereto, addressed to any other person and containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of the addressee or of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. If such a communication is addressed to a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement officer, or an official who is covered by section 1114, the individual shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
Outcome: Defend pled guilty