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Ex-federal agent gets probation for making false statement to Homeland Security

| Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, 11:21 a.m.

A former federal agent will spend 30 months on probation for sending an email to the Department of Homeland Security falsely claiming two other agents had said they planned to shoot up their workplaces, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Michael R. Cataldo, 43, of Jeannette pleaded guilty in May to making a false statement. U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak also fined Cataldo $1,000.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Cataldo created a new email address and sent the email on July 17, 2015, implicating a fellow customs agent and a Transportation Security Administration officer, prosecutors say.

Cataldo was suffering from several untreated mental health problems and had been relieved of his firearm and his law enforcement credentials because of his increasingly erratic behavior, his lawyer, Douglas Sughrue, said in court documents. Cataldo now works as a mason and is receiving treatment, Sughrue said.

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