MINNEAPOLIS – A federal grand jury has handed down an indictment against a Minneapolis man for threatening Hennepin County employees and illegally possessing firearms as a criminal, said Acting U.S. Attorney W Anders Folk.
According to court documents, on June 24, 2021, the Hennepin County District Court issued an arrest warrant for Peter Robert Berry, 60, after he failed to appear in court for a hearing. Berry called a Hennepin County Community Corrections worker to ask him questions about his court appearance. During the call, Berry got angry and started screaming and threatened to “shoot the spot”. That same day, Berry left a voicemail message for a Hennepin County probation officer in which Berry asked to be called back before he began “killing everyone.” On June 25, 2021, Berry called an employee at the Hennepin County Service Center who informed him of the pending arrest warrant for his failure to appear in court. Upon learning of the warrant’s existence, Berry said he was going to “go down and kill everyone, all the judges, clerks and deputies”. On June 29, 2021, Berry left a voicemail message for a Hennepin County public defender in which Berry expressed his displeasure with the representation he received in his criminal case and threatened that people would die and said that he knew where the public defender lived. .
According to court documents, on July 10, 2020 and April 7, 2021, Berry illegally owned three firearms, including a Beretta .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol, and a Diamondback DB15 rifle. Because Berry has previously been convicted of a felony in Hennepin, Dakota, and Ramsey counties, he is prohibited under federal law from owning firearms or ammunition at any time.
Berry is charged with two counts of possession of firearms as a criminal and three counts of transmitting threats between states.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program that has been shown to be effective in reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a wide range of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses its enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with local prevention and reintegration programs for sustainable crime reduction.
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Minneapolis Police Department.
Assistant US Attorney Allison K. Ethen is pursuing the case.
An indictment is only an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.