Albuquerque man charged with sending threatening messages to local family
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Stephen Yochim, 48, of Albuquerque, made his initial appearance on Jan. 19 in federal court where he was charged with transmitting threatening interstate communications. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 26.
According to a criminal complaint, Yochim allegedly sent a series of messages from multiple Google email (gmail) accounts to an Albuquerque couple. In highly graphic language, the messages, received between Jan. 11 and Jan. 15, threatened physical violence against one of the recipients and expressed morbid joy at the prospect of cancer afflicting the other recipient. Included in the profane terms directed toward the family was the repeated use of an ethnic slur.
“Those who engage in online threats and harassment cross a line and they should know that they will be subject to prosecution,” said Fred Federici, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico.
"The type of behavior the defendant is accused of committing is unacceptable," said James Langenberg, Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque FBI Division. "The FBI will aggressively investigate those who maliciously threaten others and we will work closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office to hold these offenders accountable."
A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Yochim faces up to five years in prison.
The FBI investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel A Hurtado is prosecuting the case.