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Man arrested for alleged threats to harm House majority leader's family

By Carol Cratty, CNN
updated 7:07 PM EDT, Thu November 3, 2011
Glendon Swift, 62, was arrested Wednesday and charged with making threats against Rep. Eric Cantor's family.
Glendon Swift, 62, was arrested Wednesday and charged with making threats against Rep. Eric Cantor's family.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cantor's office received two calls on October 27
  • The caller threatened Cantor's daughter and his wife, the criminal complaint says
  • The suspect allegedly told FBI agents he "got drunk ... and started cussing people out"

(CNN) -- A Tennessee man was arrested Wednesday and charged with making threats against the family of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, according to federal documents.

Glendon Swift allegedly twice called Cantor's office in Glen Allen, Virginia, on October 27 and left voice mail threatening to rape the congressman's daughter and to kill his wife, according to a criminal complaint. The court document also charges Swift made anti-Semitic remarks about Cantor and said he would destroy him.

The complaint described the messages as "laden with the screaming and ranting of profanities." The caller did not identify himself.

A staffer for the congressman discovered the messages, saved them and alerted federal authorities who identified Swift as the person who subscribed to the phone number where the calls originated.

When confronted by FBI agents, Swift allegedly told them he knew why they were there and said he "got drunk the other night and started cussing people out," according to the complaint. The document said Swift was read his Miranda rights and consented to an interview in which he admitted he made angry calls to Cantor's office but said he did not remember making threats.

The complaint says agents played back the messages for Swift and he admitted that it was his voice.

Swift, who is a 62-year-old resident of Lenoir City, Tennessee, had an initial court appearance Thursday afternoon in Knoxville, and is being detained pending a detention hearing on November 9. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted of threatening to assault or murder a family member of a U.S. official.

"Threatening to harm the family of a public official is a very serious charge, and we are grateful to the FBI and their law enforcement partners for their quick action in this case," said Neil MacBride, U.S. atorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Cantor's office declined to comment, saying "this is a law enforcement matter."

It could not be determined Thursday whether Swift had obtained legal counsel.

CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

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