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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 14, 2020

Maryland Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Cyberstalking Former Girlfriend and Threatening Workplace Violence

            WASHINGTON – Brandon Spann was sentenced today to 30 months in prison after earlier pleading guilty to a federal cyberstalking charge.

            The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin, and Robert E. Bornstein, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division.

            Spann, 30, a resident of Maryland and a former employee of the Department of Education, plead guilty on February 13, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Following his incarceration, he is subject to three years of supervision.

            According to the government’s evidence, from approximately November 2017 to July 2019, Spann undertook a pattern of stalking, harassing, and threating behavior towards his former girlfriend. As described in the plea documents, this behavior escalated, eventually targeting the victim through approximately 30 other individuals, including her friends, siblings, and parents, as well as their friends, family, and colleagues, many of whom were unfamiliar with the victim. The over 400 communications included description of murder plans, including numerous false obituaries, threats of workplace violence, and slanderous claims concerning the professional, personal, and sexual reputation of the primary victim. Judge Berman Jackson stated that although cyberstalking cases are rare in her courtroom, the “havoc and terror” wreaked by Mr. Spann “deserved law enforcement attention” and acknowledged that the “ever expanding ripples” of his threatening communication had “real consequences” to the victims, including the closure of an office, the loss of a victim’s job, and several victims’ ongoing fear and anxiety.

            Spann was arrested on July 23, 2019, in his home in Maryland and he has been in custody ever since. Spann will get credit for the time he already has served. The court also granted a joint motion from the parties that will require Mr. Spann to pay more than $7,000 in restitution to two of the victims for their attorney’s fees and lost wages.

            This matter was investigated by the FBI WFO's Safe Streets Violent Crime Task Force. This task force is charged with investigating acts of violence and criminal threats within the Capital Region and is composed of FBI Agents, Deputy Marshals of the United States Marshals Service, U.S. Capitol Police Officers, CSOSA Supervision Officers, and Detectives from the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department.

            The investigation into this matter was conducted by special agents from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Floyd of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section and Peter Roman of the Cyber Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Press Release Number: 
20-095
Updated August 17, 2020