Defendant used the U.S. mail to send threatening letters
U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins announced that Ronald Thomas Brim, 28, of Walnut Cove, NC, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney in Charlotte to 20 years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for using the U.S. mail to threaten the lives of former President George W. Bush and Former First Lady Laura Bush, for mailing threats to destroy the White House and Pentagon by explosives, and for using the U.S. mail to threaten Billy and Franklin Graham and others.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making the May 17 announcement by Russell F. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Charlotte Field Division, and Keith Fixel, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
On August 5, 2010, a federal jury convicted Brim on three counts of making threats against the President; one count of making threats against a family member of the President; five counts of threatening the use of explosives; and two counts of mailing a threatening communication.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, in April 2008 Brim began sending letters threatening the life of former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.
The letters contained specific and graphic threats to harm and kill the former President and First Lady as well as threats to blow up the White House and the Pentagon. The first letter charged in the bill of indictment was mailed directly to the White House. Subsequent letters were mailed to the U.S. Marshals Service in Charlotte and Asheville. During the trial, the government also presented evidence showing that the defendant mailed a death threat to evangelist Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham.
In the letter, Brim expressed the intent to kill Reverend Graham and to kidnap and harm members of Franklin Graham’s family. Brim was also convicted of threatening to harm the owners of a prison ministry organization. In delivering the lengthy prison sentence, Judge Whitney noted that the defendant posed a continuing danger to the community.
Brim has been in local federal custody in the Western District of North Carolina since he was arrested in January 2010. Upon designation of a federal facility, Brim will be transferred into custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.