A Connecticut man recently sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison for traveling to Maine to engage in sexual contact with a 13-year-old has been indicted for threatening to kill the federal judge, prosecutor, federal defender and investigator who worked on his case.
Devin James Melycher, 30, of Brookfield, Connecticut, has been charged by a federal grand jury with three counts of mailing threatening communications, two counts of threatening to murder a federal judge and one count of threatening to murder a federal law enforcement officer.
The individuals Melycher allegedly threatened are not named in the indictment, but threatening letters sent to U.S. District Judge John Woodcock were filed in Melycher’s sex case, and the others were referenced in the sentencing memorandum from prosecutors.
Melycher was sentenced Sept. 15 in U.S. District Court in Portland to 11 years and three months in prison after admitting that he traveled to Maine to engage in sexual contact with a minor. In addition to prison time, Melycher was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release.
Acting as his own attorney, Melycher has appealed his case to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
In August 2020, Melycher drove from his residence in Connecticut to Gorham to engage in sexual conduct with the minor victim, for which he paid $85, according to court documents. The trip followed weeks of contact between Melycher and the victim over Snapchat and other chat platforms. During that time, Melycher, who initially told the victim he was 19, pressured the victim to send sexually explicit images despite knowing the victim was only 13, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Melycher was arrested on Aug. 2, 2021, in Connecticut. He has been held without bail since then, most often at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland.
Between May and August of this year, while the sex case was pending, Melycher sent threatening letters to several federal officials, including Woodcock; Federal Defender David Beneman, who was representing Melycher until the defendant fired him; Assistant U.S. Attorney Noah Falk, who prosecuted the case; and Eric Tracy, an agent with U.S. Homeland Security who investigated the sex case with the Gorham police.
Prior to his case being resolved, Melycher sent more than 100 letters to those individuals and others, Falk wrote in his sentencing memorandum.
“Generally speaking, over the course of his pretrial detention, the defendant’s letters have gone from plaintive and pleading, to desperate to, more recently, violent and threatening,” the prosecutor said.
The threats in the letters appeared to grow more violent after Melycher pleaded guilty to the sex charge on June 1.
A week later, the court received a profanity-laced letter that said: “I swear to god you better f***ing kill me Woodcock. I’m going to f***ing murder you one day and you deserve it.” In other letters, Melycher told the judge to “go hang himself.”
Melycher’s prosecution in the threats case is being handled by the U.S. attorney’s office in New Hampshire. All the federal judges in Maine have recused themselves from the case. A U.S. District judge in New Hampshire, where the case has been reassigned, is expected to be appointed. An arraignment date will be set once that happens.
If convicted of making the threats, Melycher faces an additional 10 years behind bars and a fine of up to $250,000.