CHICAGO — A federal jury in Chicago has convicted a suburban man of threatening a law enforcement officer and posting similarly threatening messages on social media.
ROBERT ANTHONY HAAS in 2019 sent harassing and threatening text messages and voicemails to a federal task force officer. In one of the text messages, Haas stated, “I’m not afraid to walk out my door in the morning. You should be however considering you support Jewish terrorism and your anti-American [expletive] is going to get you killed.” The officer had come into contact with Haas when he interviewed him after the FBI received a complaint about disturbing messages Haas posted to a social media website.
In addition to the threats against the federal officer, evidence at trial revealed that Haas posted similarly disturbing messages at the social media website. In one of those postings, Haas stated, “I don’t care if it’s a cop, prosecutor, judge, politician or elite. You try to stop me from telling the truth I will cut every throat in your home. Try me!”
After a four-day trial, a federal jury in Chicago on Thursday convicted Haas, 40, of Ottawa, Ill., on all 13 counts against him, including five counts of threatening to assault or murder a federal official and eight counts of knowingly transmitting in interstate commerce a communication containing a threat to injure another. Each count of threatening a federal official is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison, while the maximum sentence for each of the other threat counts is five years. U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang set sentencing for Nov. 3, 2020.
The conviction was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and Patrick S. Mills, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), Chicago Field Office. Assistance was provided by the Illinois State Police and the Ottawa, Ill., Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erin Kelly and Barry Jonas.