TAMPA — A Holiday man has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he threatened and intimidated an Iraqi-American family over several months so they would move out of his neighborhood and leave the United States.
David Allen Boileau, 58, faces up to a year in prison on a charge of criminal interference with a right to fair housing. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
The family, now naturalized United States citizens, had immigrated to the United States from Iraq in 2015 through a refugee visa.
Boileau threw screws at a car parked on the family’s property, broke into their house, and went through the family’s mail, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa.
He also made several derogatory statements regarding their national origin and religion, referring to them as “ISIS” and an “eyesore to this country,” adding that he disliked Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent, prosecutors said.
Witnesses reported that, on one occasion, Boileau yelled at the family to get out of his neighborhood and country.
Boileau reported that his goal was to “take care of that family” and to “clean up America," prosecutors said.
Boileau also threatened to kill witnesses who reported his conduct to local law enforcement authorities, prosecutors said. The Iraqi-American family was afraid to be in their house and, at one point, left their home to stay with relatives.
Deputies with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested Boileau in January at his home, 3434 Pinehurst Drive in Holiday. He had recently moved to the neighborhood. The Iraqi-American family, four of them small children, had lived there for three years.
Boileau told a deputy that if he couldn’t get rid of his neighbors, “Trump will handle it," according to an arrest report — an apparent reference to President Trump and his tougher immigration policies.
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco called a news conference following the arrest to emphasize that his office does not tolerate crimes driven by prejudice. Nocco said at the time that he had reached out to federal authorities.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Records show Boileau has a history of arrests dating to 1995 on charges such as domestic violence, battery and burglary.
On March 23, two months after he was arrested in the threats against his neighbors, Boileau was again arrested on a charge of resisting arrest, according to Pasco County Sheriff’s Office records. He was released from jail 90 days later.