Former Delaware politician pleads guilty to federal charges | Politics
WILMINGTON, Delaware (AP) – A former Delaware political candidate who unsuccessfully sought Republican nominations for governor and the United States Senate has pleaded guilty to federal charges of sending threats to a lawyer who represented his wife in a divorce case.
Michael Protack pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of posting a threatening communication.
Protack, 63, faces a maximum sentence of five years on each count when sentenced on December 6, but will likely receive a lesser sentence. Prosecutors agreed not to oppose a reduction in the level of offense used in sentencing calculations based on his acceptance of responsibility.
Prosecutors said Protack, who now lives in Seal Beach, Calif., Sent two death threats to Delaware attorney Patrick Boyer earlier this year.
An unsigned January letter was addressed to “Boyer. Little Boy, ”with a“ Viper Association ”return address in a Wilmington PO box, investigators said.
“The VIPERS are coming for you. We all have military experience and have no fear of the outcome, ”the letter said. “You are a coward who will regret your actions. Expect to be dead by June 2021. You won’t know when, where or how, but your end is written. Take the time and put your affairs in order because they will not find your body for weeks.
Authorities said Protack followed up a few weeks later with a letter containing a graphic image of a mutilated body.
Protack unsuccessfully sought the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2004 and 2008 and narrowly lost the GOP primary for the US Senate in 2006.
According to an FBI affidavit, Boyer began representing Mary Ann Protack in divorce proceedings in 2018 and helped her obtain “protection from abuse” or PFA orders against Protack.
“I could shoot you in the head and spend the rest of my life in prison happy about it,” Protack reportedly told his wife at one point. The affidavit added that he also once told her, “Someone is going to die today.”
The divorce proceedings appear to have started around the same time that Protack, a former airline pilot who served in the Marine Corps, was informed that Delta Air Lines intended to fire him. In a federal lawsuit filed in January 2018, Protack claimed that Delta had harassed and intimidated him for years because of his union activity and repeatedly questioned his physical and mental form after being injured during a Hit-and-run in 2012. The lawsuit also claimed that Delta unfairly described Protack as an “obstructionist” for refusing to undergo a psychiatric examination.
The case was closed early last year after being transferred from California to Georgia. Protack filed a similar complaint, without a lawyer, earlier this year. This case was dismissed in late June due to Protack’s failure to properly serve the defendants.