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Published: Monday, 5/17/2010

Man pleads guilty to sending noose to Lima NAACP leader

BLADE STAFF

An Oregon man charged with sending a noose to a local civil rights leader admitted guilt Monday in U.S. District Court in Toledo.

Daniel Lee Jones, 33, pleaded guilty to mailing threatening communications. As part of the plea agreement, one count of interfering with civil rights will be dismissed.

Jones admitted with his plea that he had ties to a national white supremacist group and that he mailed a noose to Jason Upthegrove, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Lima, Ohio.

Arrested in Oregon where he lives, Jones was eventually brought to Toledo. He remains out of custody pending his sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Bauer said that based on Jones' past and the offense to which he pleaded, Jones faces 12 to 18 months in prison. Judge David Katz, who has discretion in sentencing, did not set a sentencing date.

Mr. Upthegrove, who attended the hearing, said afterward that he hopes the court sends a "clear and convincing message" that crimes of this nature won't be tolerated. He said he understands that people may disagree with his viewpoints but said that Jones took the "cowardly approach" by sending an anonymous threat instead of contacting him directly.

"I want a message to be sent, I want the message to be severe, and I want him to think and people who think like him to think that there are consequences for what they are doing," he said.



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