A man who served 28 months in federal prison for threatening the lives of more than 40 financial regulators was sentenced Tuesday to the maximum of 10 months in prison for twice violating the conditions of his supervised release.
Vincent McCrudden, 54, was found in July by U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley to have violated the release terms both by associating with felons and by lying to his probation officer three times about whether he had contact with a felon.
"I personally think Mr. McCrudden is a dangerous individual," Hurley said during sentencing in federal court in Central Islip. "I now use a burglar alarm in my home."
The judge ordered McCrudden to serve another year of supervised release -- he had been serving 2 years -- and get mental health counseling.
Hurley also barred McCrudden from sending any further "quasi-threatening" letters to judges handling his case. Hurley said he was referring to communications McCrudden sent after his release from prison in which he seemed to indicate threats of violence.
The judge said, though it might raise First Amendment issues, McCrudden had fewer free-speech rights than a regular citizen because is he under supervised release. Hurley noted as an example that a convicted child pornographer can be legally barred from viewing adult porn because it might lead to viewing child porn.
McCrudden, who had resided in Dix Hills and Long Beach but now lives in Long Island City, Queens, and his attorney, Abigail Field of Cutchogue, had said his conduct did not rise to the level required to support the two charges.
The 4 months McCrudden had served in prison for violating supervised release before being released on bond was sufficient punishment, Field said. Violations of supervised release can call for sentences of between 4 and 10 months.
Field called the judge's barring of quasi-threatening letters "extraordinary." Field said she would talk to McCrudden about whether to appeal.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Caffarone declined to comment.McCrudden had argued that the prohibited association would have required his meeting with the felons in person, but his contact was by telephone or letter. He also argued that the content of the letters and calls to people he had met in prison were limited and routinely sociable so as not to amount to the type of prohibited association.
As to the charge that he had lied to a probation officer, McCrudden had argued that the statements he had made were not significant or material enough to have influenced the probation officer's conduct toward him.
But Hurley, in finding McCrudden in violation, said in one instance he helped a representative of one of the felons file a legal motion, showing their relationship was more than "fleeting or casual."
And as to the argument that a prohibited association had to be face to face, Hurley said that would "defy common sense." If such were the case, whatever else there would be no violation of supervised release if a person under supervision and a felon planned a terrorist attack only by telephone and e-mail, Hurley wrote.
Lastly, Hurley said if McCrudden had told the probation officer truthfully about his contact with the felon, it might have had an impact on how the officer acted toward him, so the falsehoods could not be discounted as insignificant.