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Palm Beach Gardens man threatened to harm congresswomen, district attorney, feds say

Indictment says Paul Hoeffer, 60, threatened to cut, rip off congresswomen's heads, told attorney bullets would 'rattle her brain'
U.S. Capitol building in April 2021
Posted at 12:19 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 22:05:21-05

MIAMI — A Palm Beach Gardens man is facing federal charges after he called and threatened to injure two members of Congress and a district attorney, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Paul Hoeffer, 60, was arraigned this week in U.S. District Court in Miami. He is charged with three counts of interstate transmission of threats to injure.

According to the federal indictment, Hoeffer called a congresswoman in March 2019 and threatened to come a "long, long way" to rattle her head with bullets and cut her head off.

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Prosecutors allege that Hoeffer then called an Illinois district attorney that same day and told her bullets were going to "rattle her brain."

The most recent alleged incident occurred in November 2020, when Hoeffer called a congresswoman in New York and told her he'd "rip her head off" and cautioned her to sleep with one eye open, the indictment alleges.

Prosecutors didn't identify the congresswomen or district attorney. Although the indictment didn't name anyone, it lists the congresswomen as "N.P." and "A.O.C." — likely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

A person who answered the telephone for the number associated with Hoeffer told WPTV he was not available for comment.

Hoeffer, a registered Democrat, pleaded not guilty in court. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 18.