Queens Man Pleads Guilty to Making Over 12,000 Harassing Calls to Congress, Threatening to Kill Aide

Ade Salim Lilly, a 35-year-old man from Queens, New York, has admitted to making more than 12,000 harassing calls to members of Congress, including a threat to kill an aide. Lilly pleaded guilty on Thursday to threatening to kidnap or injure someone on interstate commerce and making repeated harassing telephone calls to at least 54 congressional offices.

According to court documents, Lilly’s calls were usually answered by lawmakers’ staffers and interns, and he would “become angry and use vulgar and harassing language.” In one particularly alarming incident on October 21, 2022, Lilly threatened a congressional staffer, saying, “I will kill you, I am going to run you over, I will kill you with a bomb or grenade.”

The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed that Lilly’s calls targeted both political parties, with more than 6,526 of the calls directed at congressional offices in Washington, D.C. Despite repeated warnings from police and requests from congressional staff members to refrain from calling, Lilly persisted in his harassment, even going so far as to “mask” his number to avoid detection.

Lilly, who has been in custody since his arrest in November 2023, faces up to five years in prison for threatening to kidnap or injure someone on interstate commerce, as well as up to two years on the repeated calls charge. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 28 before U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly.

U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves emphasized the severity of Lilly’s actions, stating, “Threatening another person’s safety or life is a crime, not protected speech. This case should send a clear message that while people are secure in their rights to express themselves, they are not allowed to threaten people, and those who do will be held accountable.”

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