Oxnard Man Sentenced for Making Death Threats to Santa Barbara Planned Parenthood

The U.S. Department of Justice seal is displayed on a podium following a news conference (courtesy)

A Ventura County man was sentenced Monday to 18 months in federal prison for making threatening telephone calls last year, including a Planned Parenthood office, on the day the United States Supreme Court overturned its Roe v. Wade decision.

Nishith Tharaka Vandebona, 34, of Oxnard, but who lived in Camarillo when he committed the crimes, was sentenced by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner, who described the threatening phone calls as “egregious.”

Vandebona has been in federal custody since June 12, 2023 when he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of threatened forcible intimidation regarding the obtaining and provision of reproductive health services under the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and one felony count of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce.

“Seeking to intimidate others through death threats is unacceptable,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “Today’s sentence shows that there will be consequences for those who threaten violence against workers at reproductive health facilities in violation of federal law.”

“Mr. Vandebona crossed the line from protected speech to criminal activity when he terrorized his ideological adversaries with death threats,” said Donald Alway, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The FBI safeguards the rights of all citizens and, as today’s sentencing makes clear, will hold accountable those who threaten or violate the civil rights of others.”

In February and June of 2022, Vandebona used an internet application to create anonymous telephone numbers to make the threatening calls.

During the spring of 2022, there was news coverage that the Supreme Court was considering overturning Roe, its 1973 decision that recognized a constitutional right to abortion, after an initial draft of the new opinion was leaked.

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court published a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe and ruled that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.

On the same day, using an anonymous number, Vandebona left a voicemail message containing death threats with Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, a Santa Barbara-based reproductive health services organization.

On June 25, 2022, Vandebona called Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and spoke with a call center specialist. Vandebona said, “I’m calling to let you know that I’m going to come in there and kill all of you, including your staff and your security. You got it? You’re overdue for an attack.”

Within an hour, Vandebona telephoned Planned Parenthood Los Angeles again and made several death threats, including “I’m gonna come in there and murder your staff.”

Prior to the threats to the Planned Parenthood facilities, Vandebona called in a bomb threat in February 2022 to the office of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), a Ventura-based non-profit organization that advocates for “zero population growth,” primarily through immigration restrictions.

Vandebona used anonymous numbers he obtained from the internet to make threatening phone calls to CAPS. In one of the calls, he said, “I’m gonna come in there and kill all of you, dude. Be careful.”

In another call to CAPS in February 2022, Vandebona said, “I’m gonna come in there, plant a bomb, and kill as many white Americans as possible. You understand that? Servicemen, families, everybody.”

The FBI investigated this matter. The Santa Barbara Police Department, the Santa Monica Police Department, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office assisted in this investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Frances S. Lewis of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section prosecuted this case.

Anyone who has information about incidents of violence, threats, and obstruction that target a patient or provider of reproductive health services or damage and destruction of reproductive health care facilities, should report that information to the FBI at https://tips.fbi.gov.

For more information about clinic violence, and the Department of Justice’s efforts to enforce FACE Act violations, please visit www.justice.gov/crt/national-task-force-violence-against-reproductive-health-care-providers.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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    • Sac – Where are you basing your conjecture of his political affiliation from?

      Many conservatives are ok with abortion and many liberals are not. And vice versa. It’s a pretty polarizing issue amongst both parties.

      He threatens white people based on skin color, called in a bomb threat to an anti-immigration non profit and then this, where do you draw that he was on the right from?

        • I wouldn’t say you’ve provided enough evidence to “rest your case” rather you have just doubled down on an unfounded claim.

          As I pointed out, he seems all over the place. Without knowing his affiliation you should not unjustly conjecture that he belongs to one party or another.

          You did the same thing with the person who was involved with the altercation resulting in the death of a pro-Israeli protestor. That pro-Palestinian protestor in question was ultimately arrested for after you said with almost certainty that it wasn’t manslaughter. You assumed it was a right winger that started it and that the violence only comes from that side, but the charges would suggest otherwise.

          • These attempts to keep a scorecard on what political party someone is affiliated with when they commit a crime or an act of violence is so ridiculous. First, I’d be willing to bet most violent criminals don’t vote or bother to register with any political party. Second, there is no shortage of assholes in any large group of human beings. Such a desperate way to assert a sense of identity.

          • “I wouldn’t say you’ve provided enough evidence to “rest your case” rather you have just doubled down on an unfounded claim.”

            He did not double down on the claim; on the contrary he denied that he’s making the claim. The case he said is closed (which is quite different from resting one’s case) wasn’t about the claim. But grasping that would require intelligence, reading comprehension, and honesty.

          • Oops, sacjon did say that he rested his case about political affiliation, as well as saying that the case is closed on other matters. But the assertion that ““I wouldn’t say you’ve provided enough evidence to “rest your case”” is absurd — one rests their case when they have provided their evidence and reasoning, whatever that is. And the evidence is overwhelming that attacks of PP come from right wingers. No decent honest person would deny it.

        • STONER – A) “you should not unjustly conjecture that he belongs to one party or another.” – I didn’t. I made a tongue in cheek comment poking fun at those who always blame liberals for violence. How many more times do I need to say this? Further, has any liberal at any time in history carried out violence against abortion clinics? No. Again, I rest my case.

          B) “That pro-Palestinian protestor in question was ultimately arrested for after you said with almost certainty that it wasn’t manslaughter.” – Again, I never said that. I only said it didn’t seem intentional. The DA seems to agree, as he was charged with “involuntary manslaughter.”

          C) “You assumed it was a right winger that started it and that the violence only comes from that side” – Nope, I did not. You have me confused with General Tree. In fact, it was YOU who began making that political by assuming he was not a conservative.

          So yeah, case closed.

          • sac, stoner has special glasses that allow him to see stuff that isn’t there. And at the same time blocks out things that are there, like the definition of manslaughter.

            Also, of course, he finds it necessary to mention that the fellow was “pro-Palestinian”, because one must constantly reinforce the notion that Palestinians are bad dark people (or Trump’s v-word), all terrorists, even the babies in incubators, and anyone who is “pro-” that sort of person is likewise bad and inclined toward manslaughter.

            Meanwhile, the latest Gaza numbers from the Swiss-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor (https://twitter.com/EuroMedHR/status/1728157820288139633):
            – 8,176 children killed and 4,112 women: 61% of those killed
            – 92% of those killed are civilians (18,460 people out of 20,031)
            – 1,730,000 people displaced: more than 80% of the Gaza population
            And so on…
            In just 49 days. Which means:
            – 167 children killed a day on average, or 7 every hour, or 1 every 8 minutes.
            – 377 civilians killed a day on average, or almost 16 every hour.

            It looks like the anti-Palestinians have things well in hand.

            • Those numbers are nothing compared to the 300,000+ civilians the US and our allies killed in Iraq by direct military action, we’re you as outraged then or were you a “anti-Iraqi”? Iraq didn’t even attack us and that’s what we did. Imagine if we were attacked and they killed 40,000 Americans in a single day, as that’s the equivalent for what happened to Israel. Imagine if we shared a boarder with them, and their stated goal was to kill all Americans and destroy the USA – that’s what Israel is dealing with while you here safe armchair generaling what Isreal should do to ensure they have a future.

              • And VOICE, since you want to compare numbers, let’s look at some more:

                As of now, an estimated 46,000 homes have been destroyed in Gaza, an area the size of West Goleta to Rincon from the ocean to the foothills.

                Think about that.

                That’s a little less than ALL the homes/apartments in Goleta AND Santa Barbara. Imagine that. In addition to the tiny size of Gaza, consider that tens of thousands of bombs have been dropped in that tiny area. Can you even fathom that many bombs being dropped from Goleta to Carp? I can’t.

                So yeah, it’s helpful to this of this humanitarian catastrophe in terms of numbers and comparisons to America, but let’s not leave any out.

            • Wow, VOICE. You just whatabouted so hard I’m surprised you don’t have whiplash!

              But now that you’ve once again changed this subject, let’s examine that commonly touted number. Yeah, that is quite a bit and I don’t think anyone has downplayed or ignored that. On the other hand though, have you considered how many American children that would be equivalent to in Palestinian kids’ lives? That’s about 219,00 overall with about 4,500 American kids dying PER DAY.

              When you pose the numbers like that, you really should do it for both sides. Just focusing on one diminishes the value of life of the others.

      • “Many conservatives are ok with abortion”

        Not this one, clearly.

        “and many liberals are not.”


        As we all know, attacks on Planned Parenthood uniformly come from the right wing. That there are conservatives who are ok with abortion (while consistently voting for politicians who restrict abortion rights, but whatever) is not relevant.

        “He threatens white people based on skin color, called in a bomb threat to an anti-immigration non profit and then this, where do you draw that he was on the right from?”

        More disingenuousness, or maybe just cognitive incompetence … CAPS is, as noted in the article, a “zero population growth” outfit.

        One of the ideas that right wing forced-birthers (which is redundant) promote in the Black community is the notion that abortion services and birth control are part of a genocidal conspiracy to eliminate the Black population, and all of this person’s actions are consistent with that: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/abortion-the-racists-most-devastating-weapon-9615

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