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Transient New Mexico man pleads guilty to threat against Obama

By Joseph J. Kolb

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A 55-year-old homeless man from New Mexico pleaded guilty on Thursday to making a telephone threat against President Barack Obama in which he said he would shoot the president, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Tracy York White of Las Cruces was arrested in October, four days after he is accused of telling a Social Security Administration employee in Ohio by phone that he planned to get a firearm, travel to the White House and kill the president, the statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque said.

"In his plea agreement, White stated that he made the threat in frustration and knew what he was doing was wrong," U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez said of the plea in federal district court in Las Cruces.

White was accused of making the threat after he became agitated when he was told a new Medicaid card would take two weeks to reach him after he moved from Texas to New Mexico, according to the criminal complaint.

"This is all because of President Obama changing healthcare," the complaint quoted him as having told the clerk. "I will get a .45 caliber and go to the White House and shoot his ass."

"I would like to kill him," White was reported to have said, even after the clerk told him the conversation was being recorded.

White is in federal custody and remains detained pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)

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