Lehigh Valley

Man accused in Lehigh County threats charged in federal court

Samuel Meeker wanted county 'erased from history'

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The man that authorities allege threatened to wipe Lehigh County off the map accused Lehigh and Northampton counties of conspiring in the kidnapping and murder of his father and accused the Allentown Police Department of failing to do anything about it, according to federal investigators.

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania have charged Samuel Meeker with a single count of interstate communication of threats in connection with the voicemails he allegedly left for the Lehigh County solicitor on July 22 and Aug. 9.

The 37-year-old had been charged by the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office with misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats and harassment. He was charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office on Aug. 22, and the county charges were withdrawn on Sept. 6.

On July 22, Meeker left a message at the Lehigh County Government Center for the county solicitor in which the Philadelphia resident identified himself and left a phone number, according to investigators.

A transcript of the message included in the criminal complaint indicates that Meeker initially tells the solicitor that it's "with great regret" that he is threatening to sue the county. He goes on to accuse the city of Allentown of harboring the person he says murdered his father and the two other people with whom the alleged murderer conspired, according to court papers.

Federal investigators redacted the names of the three people Meeker identified and accused in the alleged conspiracy to murder his father.

Meeker said in his message that he provided The Morning Call and Express-Times newspapers with documents supporting his allegations that officials in Lehigh and Northampton counties "aided and abetted" in the plan to kidnap, rob and murder his father. He doesn't name the county officials he accuses in the plot, nor does he detail the alleged scheme in his phone message.

Investigators allege Meeker threatened to destroy the county unless arrests were made and a legal settlement was offered, according to records. He referred to himself as a "reasonable guy" whose father had been murdered.

"So what that does is make me very angry, OK," Meeker allegedly said. "I'm not threatening anyone's lives, I'm threatening your livelihoods. Your lives, you know, are in God's hands, and you know I have no control over that, right?"

In the same message, Meeker allegedly asked that arrests be made and that the Allentown Police Department, which he said refused to take his criminal report, stop harassing and calling him. He implies that the Lehigh County solicitor's office has been advising the police department on how to handle the case, according to court papers.

"You're all going to get (expletive) and you can quote me on that. Have a good day," Meeker said.

In an Aug. 9 message to the county solicitor, investigators allege Meeker said he wanted Lehigh County "swept from the map, erased from history … totally destroyed. I mean, absolutely, I mean genocide."

In the profanity-laced second message, he allegedly ordered the solicitor to tell her "piece of (expletive) clients" to pay up or that he'd come to the county and start "kicking butts," beginning with hers. The transcription of the message in court papers appears to show that Meeker was yelling by the end of the message.

The U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force helped the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office track down Meeker at his apartment in the 4600 block of Spruce Street in Philadelphia. The Northampton County Probation Department had also issued an arrest warrant for Meeker.

On-line court records show Meeker pleaded guilty in August 2018 to single counts of defiant trespass and criminal mischief and received a probationary sentence. The judge in that case ordered drug and alcohol and psychological evaluations. It's not clear from records why the probation department issued an arrest warrant.

When U.S. Marshals tried to arrest Meeker, authorities allege he initially tried to lock the apartment door and barricade himself inside. Marshals forced their way inside and took him into custody without further incident.

Meeker was taken into federal custody on Aug. 28 and was taken to a federal detention center in Philadelphia. U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry S. Perkin ordered a competency evaluation for Meeker.

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