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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Olean Man For Cyberstalking, Making Interstate Threats

CONTACT: Barbara Burns   
PHONE:       (716) 843-5817 
FAX #:          (716) 551-3051  

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Luke Marshall Wenke, 29, of Olean, NY, with cyberstalking and making interstate threats. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles M. Kruly and David J. Rudroff, who are handling the case, stated that according to the indictment and a previously filed complaint, on September 3, 2020, an acquaintance of Wenke’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was arrested and charged federally with conspiracy to provide material support and resources to Hamas. On September 22, 2020, Wenke began sending a series of threatening communications via email, text message, letters, and telephone to Victim 1, an attorney representing the individual arrested, based on Wenke’s belief that Victim 1 was not adequately representing the individual. In an email, on January 23, 2022, Wenke stated in part: “I will gladly take a steel chair to your face until I get what I want here. You don't respect me...but you will.” Wenke sent another email on January 24, 2022, which contained a photograph of Victim 1’s residence.

Wenke is scheduled to be arraigned on March 17, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr.

The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia and the Olean Police Department, under the direction of Chief Ron Richardson.                      

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

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Topic(s): 
Cybercrime
Updated March 16, 2022