North Carolina man gets extra year in federal prison after sending threatening letter to judge

Stanley Kowalewski
Stanley Kowalewski(Ian Cross)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 12:58 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - A North Carolina man will serve an additional year in federal prison for mailing a threatening communication to a United States District Court Judge.

Originally, Stanley J. Kowalewski, 50, of North Carolina, was convicted on 22 counts related to a sophisticated fraud scheme and sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison.

While serving that sentence in a prison in South Carolina, a federal judge received a letter that threatened to cause the women close to the judge to disappear if the judge did not grant pending motions for compassionate release.

The letter requested a reduction in sentence and release from prison by a certain date, according to court records.

Specifically, the letter stated:

“Judge [Redacted],

You have failed to do the right things. Now you make us do this. You will grant ALL pending motions in your court for compassionate release by July 2nd, 2021 at 3:00 PM or earlier. They are all to be reduced to time served with NO supervised release.  They will be immediate release from prison and no delays. If not, then we will begin to disappear the women closest to you. We know where they live, work, or go to school. If you try to alert the authorities, we will know and your loved ones will disappear. Do your job and everyone will be happy and you’ll never here from us again.

A.C.B.”

The day before the threat was mailed, an individual visited Kowalewski in the low-security prison where Kowalewski was then housed. When that person arrived, Kowalewski gave the visitor two envelopes, one inside the other, telling him to handle them with gloves, to not get fingerprints on them, to not ask questions, and to place them in the mail. 

Court records show Kowalewski called the visitor after he left and told him to hurry up and mail the letter.

At the time of the threat, Kowalewski had a motion for compassionate release pending before the victim Court, and the threat came during a time Kowalewski had directed others to conduct an aggressive campaign contacting the Court asking for that motion to be granted. 

Three weeks before the threat, Kowalewski said in a recorded call, “I just told everybody to double up on [the victim judge] and call twice a week and really make their life miserable.”

When the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Marshal’s Service initially confronted Kowalewski, he lied about his participation in the threat and then sent out letters that provided the visitor a false story to tell agents if he was approached.  If the visitor stuck with the story, Kowalewski wrote, “this will be over.”

Chief United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell sentenced Kowalewski to serve an additional 15 months in federal prison (to be served consecutive to his current sentence), with three years of court-ordered supervision to follow.

There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service with assistance from the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and agencies in the Northern District of Georgia. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott B. Daniels prosecuted the case.