Florida Man Sentenced to Prison for Interstate Threats Against Jewish Organizations

Deep Alpesh Kumar Patel, a 21-year-old resident of Sarasota, has been sentenced to six months in federal prison by U.S. District Chief Judge Timothy Corrigan for transmitting an interstate threat to injure. Patel pleaded guilty to the charges on December 15, 2023.

As per the plea agreement, Patel was found guilty of leaving a threatening voicemail at a Jewish organization in New York City on October 21, 2023. In the voicemail, he identified himself by name and made alarming statements, including threats of violence against Israelis. Additionally, Patel admitted to leaving a similar threatening voicemail at a synagogue in Temple Terrace, Florida, on the same day.

Part of Patel’s plea agreement included acknowledging that he deliberately targeted Jewish and/or Israeli individuals based on their race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity, thus triggering hate crimes penalty enhancements.

In response to the sentencing, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida Roger Handberg emphasized the importance of combating hate-driven violence. He stated, “No one should live under the threat of violence or intimidation because of their religion, race, ethnicity or beliefs,” pledging continued cooperation with law enforcement partners to prosecute those who pose threats to any citizen.

The investigation into Patel’s actions was conducted jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Sarasota Police Department.

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