May 17, 2010 - WASHINGTON- Daniel Lee Jones, a Portland, Ore., white supremacist, pleaded guilty to using the Postal Service to send a threatening communication to the president of the Lima, Ohio, chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Justice Department announced today.
In the plea agreement, Jones admits to mailing F.M. Jason Upthegrove a hangman’s noose, which arrived at Mr. Upthegrove’s home on or about Feb. 14, 2008. Jones further states in the plea agreement that he mailed the communication containing the hangman’s noose in order to convey a threat to injure Mr. Upthegrove because he was an African-American who publicly advocated for better police services for African-Americans in Lima, Ohio. The indictment indicates that Mr. Upthegrove also spoke out in the media against Jones’s white supremacist group’s mailing of hate flyers related to the shooting of an African-American woman by a member of the Lima Police Department.
Jones faces a maximum prison sentence of five years and a potential fine of up to $250,000 for his conviction.
"A noose is an unmistakable symbol of hate in our nation, and it was used in this case to intimidate an individual for exercising his right to speak out and advocate on behalf of others," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. "The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who resort to violent threats to silence such advocates, especially when that threat is motivated by hate."
"Sending a noose is a threat that harkens back to some of the darkest days of our history. We simply will not tolerate such actions any longer," said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach.
The case was investigated by FBI Special Agent Brian Russ, and the prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Bauer from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Special Legal Counsel Barry Kowalski and Trial Attorney Shan Patel from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.