OLYMPIA RESIDENT SENTENCED FOR STALKING, THREATENING AND OBSCENE PHONE CALLS USING INTERNET ‘SPOOFING’ SERVICE
Defendant Made More than 4,000 Harassing Phone Calls to Hundreds of Women in U.S. and Canada
DANIEL CHRISTOPHER LEONARD, 32, of Olympia, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 41 months in prison and three years of supervised release for one count of cyber stalking and four counts of making threatening communications. LEONARD, the former Human Resources Manager at the Great Wolf Lodge, near Olympia, admits he made more than 4,000 “spoofed” phone calls to more than 1200 telephone numbers across the U.S. and Canada. When victims answered, Leonard made graphic and explicit threats of sexual assault and rape. Some of the victims in this case had previously worked with LEONARD, but did not recognize his voice because he disguised his voice and his phone number through the “spoofing service.” At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said the calls were terribly disturbing, painful and haunting for the victims who, unlike LEONARD, “could not just turn the lights off at night.”
The Monterey, California Police Department opened an investigation in August 2009, when a Monterey woman reported receiving highly sexual and threatening phone calls. The caller ID that appeared to the recipient victims came from a variety of area codes and numbers, but the voice, although it sounded as if it was electronically altered, was the same. In December, the woman received similar calls at her place of work. The caller continued to make the obscene and threatening calls in February, March and April 2010. Since the calls were coming from a variety of phone numbers, and since the caller’s voice sounded electronically altered, Monterey Police detectives suspected an internet “phone spoof” service. Detectives contacted phone spoof services and were able to confirm that Tel Tech, Inc. located in Toms River, New Jersey, provided the spoofing service to LEONARD. Tel Tech had complete records, including recordings, of all LEONARD’s calls.
The records revealed LEONARD had made 4000 calls to 1200 different numbers. Nearly 200 calls had been made to a woman working in LEONARD’s apartment complex in Olympia. Other victims in the case had previously worked with LEONARD either at the Great Wolf Lodge, or in his previous employment in Human Resources at the Hotel Victor, in Miami, Florida.
In asking for a sentence at the top of the guidelines range, prosecutors described how LEONARD struck fear in his victims. “It wasn’t simply numbers, volume and duration, however, that made Mr. Leonard’s conduct so extraordinarily disturbing and dangerous. Rather, it was also the calculating way in which he used information - and his position vis-a-vis his victims - to ratchet up the fear that his victims would experience that particularly warrants an enhanced response. Most notable was his cruelty in referencing the physical appearance of some of the victims, (including a juvenile), in ways that proved he was physically close to them at the time he conveyed the threats. His determination to so thoroughly terrorize his victims in this way warrants, if it does not compel, elevation of his sentence to the highest end of the appropriate range,” Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn Warma wrote in her sentencing memo.
Many of the victims altered their lives because of the phone calls; quitting jobs, moving, and altering their activities because of the threatening and harassing calls. Many cancelled their cell phone numbers, only to start receiving the calls at home or at work.
LEONARD was arrested on April 27, 2010. He has been in custody at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac since he was charged federally in May 2010.
The case was investigated by the Monterey California Police Department, the Olympia Police Department and the FBI.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kathryn Warma and Kurt Hermanns.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.