Nashville Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Sending Internet Threat Targeting Law Enforcement Officers
Robert Ellis Waddey, 23, of Nashville, Tennessee, was sentenced today to serve five months in prison for communicating a threat by interstate commerce, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran of the Middle District of Tennessee. Chief U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw, Jr. also ordered that at the conclusion on the prison sentence, Waddey be placed on two years’ supervised release, the first six months of which will be spent in a halfway house. Chief Judge Crenshaw also fined Waddey $6,600.
“We will review every threat and act of violence against our law enforcement officers,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran. “If a federal nexus exists, we will aggressively pursue those responsible and bring the appropriate federal charges when warranted.”
Waddey was indicted in February 2017 and pleaded guilty in July 2017.
According to court documents, in September 2015, Waddey posted a photograph on Instagram which depicted a handgun pointed at a Tennessee State Trooper vehicle. The posting was captioned, “F*** them non attentive hoes” and a comment read, “Gona die lookin at his computer.” Photographs subsequently found on Waddey’s phone also depicted a uniformed police officer bleeding heavily from the head and captioned “only a dead cop is a good cop.” Another photograph depicts a uniformed police officer who appears to have been shot multiple times in the back and laying in the street, while yet another photograph depicts a screen shot of a video showing another uniformed police officer who appears to have been shot and laying on the ground bleeding. This photo is captioned, “ON TAPE: OFFICER SHOT IN THE HEAD D….”
Waddey admitted during his plea hearing that on September 13, 2015, while sitting in his vehicle at a traffic light in South Nashville, he took a photograph of a Glock pistol in his hand, positioned in such a way where the pistol would be viewed in the same frame as a police car on a traffic stop in the distance with the blue lights activated. Waddey posted with the photograph a slang threat to law enforcement. Various text messages sent by Waddey also conveyed threats toward law enforcement and indicate the pleasure he took in the number of targeted cop killings.
Waddey also admitted during the plea hearing that his subjective intent in making the communications was to threaten law enforcement.
This case was investigated by the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Assistant U. S. Attorneys Brent Hannafan and Courtney L. Coker prosecuted the case.