A New York man who made threatening phone calls to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's office last year has been sentenced to three months in prison.
Joseph Morelli of Endicott was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty this year to transmitting interstate threatening communications stemming from voicemails he left for the Georgia Republican in March 2022, the Justice Department said in a release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brenda K. Sannes ordered Morelli, 51, to surrender on Oct. 2 and to serve a three-year term of supervised release after completing his prison sentence.
A spokesperson for Greene and an attorney for Morelli did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.
Morelli left seven threatening voicemails for Greene at her Washington office on March 3 and 4, 2022, an FBI agent wrote in a criminal complaint days after the incident.
As part of his guilty plea in February, Morelli admitted to calling Greene’s office in Washington and threatening to cause her physical harm, the U.S. attorney’s office in Syracuse said at the time.
“Yeah, I just don’t think I can go on letting you, you know, cause hatred and poison to people. I really think I’m gonna have to cause you harm—physical harm,” Morelli said, according to the criminal complaint. “I’m gonna have to take your life into my own hands.”
A subsequent voicemail included threats to “show you, to your face, right up front, what violence truly is,” with a threat to pay someone “to take a baseball bat and crack your skull. …You are going to get f---ing physically hurt.”
The judge who sentenced Morelli on Thursday postponed a decision on Greene's request for restitution in the amount of roughly $67,000 for security improvements at her Georgia home following the threats.
Federal prosecutors said that Morelli should pay the requested restitution because Greene had received “occasional reports” of threats, but that Morelli’s case was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
In a court filing opposing the restitution request, Morelli’s attorney Gabrielle DiBella argued that Greene’s security expenditures and Morelli’s conduct were “far too attenuated” for the court to grant restitution.
The New York Times reported last year that Greene spent more campaign cash on personal security in the early months of 2022 than any other candidate running for office at the time.
Greene has previously said she's been targeted in public. Earlier this year, she said she was “attacked” by a woman and her adult son at a restaurant.