A Venezuelan man has been charged with making threatening phone calls to residents of Newtown days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.
The U.S. Attorney's office said Monday that 30-year-old Wilfredo Cardenas Hoffman of El Hatillo, Venezuela, was arrested Saturday at Miami International Airport while traveling to Mexico from Venezuela.
Prosecutors said Cardenas Hoffman made dozens of phone calls to residents of Newtown two days after the shooting in which 26 were killed at the school. Authorities said in a few calls he claimed to be the shooter and threatened to kill the person he called.
In one of the calls he said, “This is Adam Lanza. I’m gonna (expletive) kill you. You’re dead. You’re dead. You hear me? You’re dead,” the indictment read, according to The Register Citizen.
He appeared Monday in court in Florida and is due back Thursday for a detention hearing.
“This complain charges that Cardenas Hoffman made dozens of threatening telephone calls to residents of Newtown when they were suffering from one of the worst tragedies in our nation’s history,” said Deirdre Daly, Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney, in a statement. “Threatening such vulnerable people is reprehensible and inhuman criminal conduct. Further, it inappropriately stressed law enforcement resources at a critically demanding time. This case demonstrates the resolve of our office and the FBI to arrest individuals who believe that international boundaries will protect them from prosecution in the United States.”
It was not immediately clear if Cardenas Hoffman has an attorney. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.