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Press Release

Las Cruces man pleads guilty to cyberstalking and sending threatening messages

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – John Benjamin Thornton, 40, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, pleaded guilty on Dec. 3 to a nine-count superseding indictment charging him with cyberstalking and making threats in interstate commerce. He will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

            A federal grand jury returned the second superseding indictment on Nov. 10. According to the indictment and other court records, Thornton had been the subject of complaints since November 2020 by several people who had received disturbing or threatening messages from him. On May 18, the FBI received information about threats Thornton sent to four people, including his former wife. The messages were sent from Las Cruces within the District of New Mexico.

            Thornton faces up to five years in prison for each count.

            The FBI investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Marisa A. Ong and Joni Stahl are prosecuting the case

Updated December 6, 2021

Press Release Number: 21-233