Mississippi man faces interstate stalking charges for five-year- long crime against Evansville area high schoolers
Used various social media accounts to communicate vulgar and sexually explicit messages to young women
Evansville – United States Attorney Josh Minkler announced today federal charges against a Mississippi man for his role in a four-year-long interstate stalking case involving young women from the Evansville area. Orlando L. Webber, 43, Columbus, Mississippi, has been charged with five counts of interstate stalking.
“Stalking is no longer a face-to-face crime,” said Minkler. “Social media has made us all vulnerable to criminals who can stalk from anywhere in the world. Those who believe they can remain anonymous should plan on federal law enforcement knocking on their door.”
For over four years, Webber is alleged to have used the moniker “Lando” to stalk as many as 30 high school- aged young women using various social media outlets. Most victims recall receiving vulgar and sexually explicit communications from Webber when they were 15-16 years old. Each time a victim would receive the stalking messages, she would block him from their accounts, only to have Webber use a different account name to resume the stalking.
In April 2016, Victim 1 contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber Tip Line to report that she and several other Evansville area high school girls were being harassed through their Twitter accounts. The messages included nude photographs of an adult male asking for sexual favors.
Federal law enforcement officials subpoenaed subscriber records and were able to locate Webber who lived with his mother in Columbus, Mississippi. FBI agents used facial recognition technology through the Mississippi Fusion Center to identify Webber.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Evansville Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Todd Shellenbarger, who is prosecuting this case for the government, said Webber faces up to five years’ imprisonment on each count if convicted.
An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in federal court.
Webber will have his initial appearance at 3 p.m. today in the Evansville Federal Building.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the Office’s firm commitment to prosecuting those who exploit children through the use of social media and to work closely with Project Safe Childhood. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan 4.1 and 4.2