Stupak threats lead to conspiracy charges against father and son

Two men face federal charges for threatening Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) after he voted for healthcare reform.

The U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Michigan on Monday charged Russell Hesch, 73, and his son David Hesch, 50, with conspiring to threaten, assault, kidnap or murder a U.S. official. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Both men have been arrested and will appear in federal court in Bay City, Mich., and Denver, respectively, according to the U.S. attorney's office. 

Stupak led a coalition of Democrats opposing federal funding for abortion rights during the debate, but after a deal with the White House, he backed the final bill.

Stupak, who is not running for reelection, thanked law enforcement in a statement and said he would not comment further on the investigation.

According to the complaint filed by federal officials, Russell Hesch sent a letter to his son David in Denver, which the son subsequently mailed to Stupak's district office last month. The letter threatened to injure the congressman and his family for voting in favor of the legislation in March. According to the complaint, Russell Hesch instructed his son to send the letter from Denver so that it could not be traced back to either of them.

Hesch told investigators that his biggest mistakes were writing the letter, sending it in an e-mail to his son and asking him to mail it.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

The letter to the "Stupak family" stated, "I will paint the Mackinaw Bridge with the blood of you and your family members." Before the arrests, Stupak advised the FBI that Russell Hesch was "one of his historically most vocal and critical constituents," according to the complaint.

In his letter, Russell Hesch wrote that he is a fan of the Showtime show, "Dexter," where the main character is a serial killer.

More in News

No charges for officer in Ferguson shooting

Read more »