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Ridgeland man pleads guilty to making...

Ridgeland man pleads guilty to making threats against CDC Director Rochelle Walensky

By: Anne Summerhays - December 20, 2022

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky

Robert Wiser Bates is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2023.

On Monday, U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that a Ridgeland man pleaded guilty to making threats in interstate commerce.

According to court documents and statements made in court in July 2021, Robert Wiser Bates placed phone calls to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and left voicemails for CDC Director Rochelle Walensky that were threatening in nature.

“During an interview with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bates admitted to making the threatening phone calls, and stated that he would kill Dr. Anthony Fauci as well,” the Justice Department announced.

Bates is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors,” the Justice Department stated. “This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Purdie is prosecuting the case.

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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: