Kissimmee man convicted for sending death threats to Sen. Bernie Sanders

A Kissimmee man was found guilty on Tuesday of making death threats to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez said a federal jury yesterday found Robert Francis Pratersch, 57, of Kissimmee, guilty of threatening a federal official and interstate transmission of a threat to injure. Pratersch faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

According to evidence presented at trial, Pratersch left three threatening voicemail messages at the Office of Senator Bernie Sanders in Burlington, Vt. These profanity-laced messages included a threat to “behead” Sanders, “ISIS-style,” and videotape the execution. The messages also included numerous anti-Semitic remarks directed at Sanders. 

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 16. 

Pratersch was indicted on Feb. 13.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Capitol Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vincent S. Chiu.