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Former military pilot criticizes justice system at his sentencing

A former military pilot lashed out at a judge, a prosecutor and federal agents during sentencing Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Robert P. Feneziani, 46, a former Elma resident currently living in Texas, angrily told people in the courtroom that God will judge all those who handled his case in the criminal-justice system.

He was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing false information on a government application for top-secret security clearance.

In a case that made nationwide news reports, Feneziani was arrested in February 2005 by the Western New York Anti-Terrorism Task Force.

He was formally accused of making false statements on the government application, but in court papers, FBI agents also alleged that he had threatened to crash a jetliner into the Wall Street financial district in New York City.

Feneziani denies ever making such a remark, and prosecutors never filed any charges against him in connection with the alleged remark.

"He is angry and frustrated about everything that happened to him," Feneziani's attorney, Mark J. Mahoney, said late Wednesday. "He feels he has been put through a wringer. This has been a misbegotten investigation by the FBI."

The arrest caused Feneziani to resign from his job as an Air National Guard pilot at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, his attorney said. Feneziani received an honorable discharge and a military pension. He continues to work as a commercial pilot.

U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr. imposed the sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who handled the case, declined to comment except to confirm that Feneziani was sentenced Wednesday.


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