Man Sentenced to Almost Four Years in Federal Prison for Threatening Social Security Administration Employees

 U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
District of Nevada

Daniel G. Bogden
333 Las Vegas Boulevard South
United States Attorney Suite 5000
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 388-6336
FAX: (702) 388-6296

NEWS RELEASE PRESS CONTACTS: Natalie Collins, Public Affairs Specialist (702) 388-6508

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY, MAY 3, 2010
District Internet Site - http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nv/

MAN SENTENCED TO ALMOST FOUR YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR THREATENING SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION EMPLOYEES

LAS VEGAS - A convicted felon who made threatening telephone calls to several Social Security offices after his benefits were terminated has been sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release, announced Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Leon Muhammad, 54, was sentenced on April 30, 2010 by U.S. District Judge Roger L. Hunt. Muhammad pleaded guilty on March 31, 2010, to making threatening communications in interstate commerce. Muhammad was sentenced at the top of the available sentencing range because he had two prior violent felony convictions in New York and New Jersey and was determined to be a career offender.

According to the court records, from 2005 through November 2009, Muhammad received retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA ultimately terminated Muhammad's benefits, and between Nov. 20 and Dec. 3, 2009, Muhammad made several threatening telephone calls from Las Vegas to SSA call service centers in Baltimore, Salinas, Calif., and Auburn, Wash., in an attempt to secure the reinstatement of his benefits.

At one point, Muhammad told a representative that if he did not receive payment in his bank account by a set time later that day, he would go to the Las Vegas SSA office, where he was vacationing, and create another "Valentine Blood Bath." Muhammad later stated that if he did not get his money, he would cause problems, even if he had to pay the ultimate price.

When asked to go to the local Las Vegas office to discuss his case, Muhammad stated that he could not go into the office because he knew what he was capable of and was afraid he would hurt someone. Muhammad stated that he was being jerked around and would "go postal on you all." When referring to the SSA office, Muhammad indicated it would be destroyed. Muhammad further told the employees, "You are all going to pay. If you only knew my frame of mind. It is what it is… I will make you pay. I think you all have cut me."

Muhammad was arrested on Dec. 17, 2009, in Columbia, S.C.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General (SSA OIG). It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley W. Giles.