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Man sentenced for threatening to hang 6 members of Congress if they didn't 'get behind' Trump

Ryder Winegar, 34, sent a separate threat to a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, prosecutors said. He got 33 months in federal prison.
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Ryder Winegar, 34, of Amherst, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty in August to six counts of threatening members of Congress and one count of transmitting interstate threatening communications.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images file

A New Hampshire man who threatened to hang six members of Congress if they did not "get behind Donald Trump" will spend 33 months in federal prison, according to officials.

Ryder Winegar, 34, of Amherst, was sentenced for six counts of threatening members of Congress and one count of transmitting interstate threatening communications, acting U.S. Attorney John J. Farley for the District of New Hampshire announced Wednesday in a news release. 

Winegar left voicemails at the offices of three U.S. senators and three representatives in the early morning hours of Dec. 16, 2020, according to court documents and court statements. 

That was two days after the electoral college confirmed President Joe Biden won the election.

He identified himself by name or by his telephone number in some of the messages, according to the news release. Prosecutors said Winegar threatened to hang the officials and included specific threats of violence. 

"I got some advice for you," he said in one voicemail, according to prosecutors. "Here’s the advice: 'Donald Trump is your president. If you don’t get behind him, we’re going to hang you until you die.'"

In another, Winegar said: “It really, really, it boils down to two camps. You either support our president, support liberty ... or you’re not." The messages included profane language that threatened to kill the lawmaker and criticized vaccinations.

Winegar refused to speak with U.S. Capitol Police officers who attempted to interview him on Dec. 20. 2020, according to the release.

The next day, before investigators could to return to Winegar with search and arrest warrants, he flew to Brazil, prosecutors said.

He was finally taken into custody when he returned to the U.S. on Jan. 11. 

After he was arrested, investigators learned he sent a separate threat via e-mail to a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Dec. 14, 2020. In that message he threatened to “pull the representative from his bed and hang him,” the news release on the sentencing stated. 

Officials did not name the lawmakers Winegar threatened.

Winegar pleaded guilty on Aug. 6. In addition to jail time, he was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine. 

He’s been in custody since his January arrest. A lawyer for Winegar did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.

Farley said the sentencing "sends a clear message that threats of violence have no place in our political discourse" and "those who threaten to commit acts of violence against duly-elected legislators will be held accountable for their unlawful conduct."

Winegar's threats came weeks before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, where a pro-Trump mob sought to stop the certification of Biden’s presidential win. So far, hundreds have been charged for their role in the chaos.