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McHenry Man Arrested for Allegedly Threatening U.S. Embassy Officials in Serbia

Russell K. Gordon, 48, of rural McHenry, was arrested at his home Saturday, May 18, by special agents of the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service.

A McHenry area man was arrested on Saturday night for allegedly treatening U.S. Embassy officials in Serbia as well as Serbians in Chicago over a visa dispute regarding his Serbian wife.

Russell K. Gordon, 48, of rural McHenry, was arrested at his home May 18, by special agents of the U.S. Department of Diplomatic Security Service (DDS) and FBI.

He is charged with allegedly making threats to kill the U.S. Ambassador in Serbia and Serbians in Chicago because of the visa dispute, according to Randall Samborn, spokesman for the Asst. U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago.

Gordon was scheduled to appear in court on Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox in the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago, Samborn stated in a press release.    

According to a criminal complaint affidavit, Gordon, a U.S. citizen, lived in Serbia from 1996 to November 2012, and married a Serbian woman who had a child whose father was a Serbian national. 

In September 2012, Serbian courts awarded custody of the child to the biological father. Starting in February, Gordon allegedly sent threatening or intimidating text messages to a U.S. Embassy consular assistant in Belgrade, Serbia, the release stated.

On April 15, and again on May 12, the FBI in Chicago received an email, purportedly from Gordon, at a publicly available email account that allegedly was consistent with his prior threatening messages, which are detailed in the complaint affidavit. 

Last Friday, Gordon’s wife went to the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade to request a visa for entry into the U.S., and told embassy officials that Gordon had developed detailed plans to shoot Serbian citizens in Chicago, including diplomats at places he believed Serbians routinely congregated, the release stated.

On Saturday, Gordon’s wife told the consulate chief at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade that Gordon was enraged upon learning that his wife would receive only a two-week guest visa, and that he was going to kill the U.S. Ambassador, his wife, their two daughters and another State Department employee, according to Samborn.

The arrest and charge were announced Monday by Gary S. Shapiro, U.S. States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Cornell Chasten, special agent-in-charge of the DSS Field Office in Chicago; and Cory B. Nelson, special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Chicago office.

DSS Offices in Belgrade and Washington, D.C. provided significant assistance in the investigation.

The McHenry Police Department, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the Kane County Bomb Squad assisted in Gordon’s arrest on Saturday and with the execution of a search warrant at his home on Friday. 

If convicted, Gordon faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  

 

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