Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Anthony Francis Nero, 48, of Eagleville, PA, was arrested by federal authorities and charged by Criminal Complaint on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, on charges of sending threatening communications and cyberstalking. The defendant made his initial appearance in federal court today and was detained until his next hearing on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
According to court documents, on January 7, 2021 the Montgomery County Democratic Party (MCDP) allegedly received a communication threatening “random acts of violence” against the MCDP office. Then on January 20, 2021 MCDP officials discovered that the front window of their office space in Norristown, PA, had been shot through three times, striking a wooden desk inside. Investigators inspected two spent rounds found within the MCDP’s office space and determined that they appeared to have been fired from a .45 caliber handgun. Investigators traced the January 7th threatening communication as originating from the defendant’s cell phone. In addition, investigators located a 2011 record of sale of a .45 caliber handgun to the defendant.
“As alleged in the Complaint, the defendant sent a threatening communication and then acted upon those threats – endangering the lives of anyone who might have been in the vicinity,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “I want to thank our partners in the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and all agencies at the federal, state and local levels for their dedicated work investigating this case.”
“Law enforcement at the federal, state and local level take terroristic threats very seriously, and we are partnering together to make sure all communities are safe from this kind of threat and criminal behavior,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania State Police, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Detectives, and Norristown Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vineet Gauri and Josh A. Davison.