PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Anthony Francis Nero, 48, of Norristown, PA, was sentenced to three years and one month in prison, and three years of supervised release by United States District Judge Karen S. Marston for sending threatening communications and cyberstalking in connection with a shooting at the offices of the Montgomery County Democratic Headquarters last year.
In January 2022, the defendant pleaded guilty to the charges and admitted to sending an electronic message over the Internet in January 2021 to the Montgomery County Democratic Party (MCDP) that threatened “random acts of violence” and stated “you should probably beef up security.” Later that month, MCDP officials discovered that the front window to MCDP’s office, located in Norristown, PA, had been shot through three times by a firearm. Ballistics tests by the Montgomery County Detective Bureau confirmed that two spent rounds recovered from the MCDP’s office were fired by Nero’s .45 caliber pistol.
“In the midst of a politically tumultuous time in our Nation, Anthony Nero sent a threatening communication and then followed up on his threats with a violent act that could have resulted in catastrophic injury, or worse,” said 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 on this case.”
“I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their efforts in prosecuting this defendant for terroristic threats against the Montgomery County Democratic Committee. There is no place for this kind of criminal behavior in our democracy, and our law enforcement will continue to stand together to make sure that those who act in this way are brought to justice,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele.
“Anthony Nero first used words as his weapon, sending threatening messages to frighten people whose views he didn’t agree with,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “He then escalated exponentially when he loaded his gun, drove to the MCDP office, and fired off those rounds. No one should have to fear becoming the victim of physical violence at the hands of an angry stranger. That’s why sending threatening communications is a crime, and why the FBI and our partners take threats so seriously as we work to protect and serve everyone in our communities.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Norristown Police Department, Montgomery County Detective Bureau, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vineet Gauri and Josh Davison, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen A. McLaughlin