Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Defendant made the calls on the way to the U.S. Capitol riot
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Jonathan Joshua Munafo pleaded guilty today to communicating a threat in interstate commerce.
According to court documents, Munafo, 35, originally of Massachusetts, called the Calhoun County, Michigan 911 dispatch line over 140 times on January 5, 2021. Munafo demanded to speak to a Deputy Sheriff or Sergeant about unspecified issues, but did not have an emergency to report. When the dispatcher refused and asked him to clear the line, Munafo repeatedly called back. He threatened her, “I’m gonna cut your throat. I’m gonna make you eat your f***ing nose.” He said after the “Insurrection Act,” he was “coming to your door first,” and said, “it’s going to go way worse for your family.”
Cell phone location records revealed Munafo placed the calls from a truck stop in North Carolina. The next day (January 6, 2021), Munafo participated in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a separate indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia. In that case, Munafo is charged with forcibly assaulting an officer of the Capitol Police, among eight other charges. He will appear in the District of Columbia to face those charges after his sentencing in Grand Rapids. Defendants are presumed innocent of pending charges unless proven guilty in a court of law where the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
“We will not tolerate threats of this kind,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Emergency dispatchers do critical work, under stressful circumstances, to keep the community safe. No one, especially front-line public servants, should face threats of death or other physical violence.”
“Today, Jonathan Munafo admitted to repeatedly calling a Calhoun County dispatcher and threatening to kill her or harm her family,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “These threats were intended to intimidate and create fear in a public servant whose job is intensely stressful under the best of circumstances. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated, and the FBI will continue to investigate those who threaten our community with violence.”
Munafo faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. United States District Judge Janet T. Neff will determine his sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.