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Thursday
Nov032011

Tennessee Man Arrested for Threatening to ‘Destroy’ Va. Congressman

Alex Wong/Getty Images(GLEN ALLEN, Va.) -- A Tennessee man is sitting in jail Thursday for allegedly placing two threatening phone calls to the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last week -- “screaming, profanity-laden messages [that] allegedly stated that the caller was going to destroy Rep. Cantor, rape his daughter and kill his wife,” according to the FBI and the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Glendon Swift, 62, of Lenoir City, Tenn., was arrested late Wednesday for threatening the Virginia Republican and his family in two voicemails left at Cantor’s Glen Allen, Va., office the evening of Oct. 27.

A member of Cantor’s staff retrieved the messages and alerted the U.S. Capitol Police, which sought the assistance of the FBI to identify and locate the individual who made the calls.

“Threatening to harm the family of a public official is a very serious charge, and we are grateful to the FBI and their law enforcement partners for their quick action in this case,” said Neil H. MacBride, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Laena Fallon, a spokeswoman for Cantor, declined to comment on the threats, telling ABC News, “This is a law enforcement matter.  We have no comment.”

The FBI identified Swift as the individual who subscribed to the phone number used to make the call. He was reportedly arrested without incident on Wednesday night by the FBI in Knoxville and the Lenoir City Police Department after allegedly admitting to law enforcement that he left the threatening messages.

Swift was charged by criminal complaint of threatening to assault or murder a member of the immediate family of a United States official, according to the FBI. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. Swift made his initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in Knoxville, Tenn., earlier Thursday afternoon.   

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