Long Island Man Pleads Guilty To Cyberstalking And Sending Drugs To Ex-Girlfriend
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Thomas Traficante, 23, of Long Island, NY, pleaded guilty to cyberstalking and distribution of a controlled substance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa M. Marangola and Richard A. Resnick, who are handling the case, stated that between October 2017 and December 2017, the defendant sent numerous threatening text messages to his ex-girlfriend (the Victim), her college classmates, and her housemates. The messages stated “its not safe out there tonight,” “there are various people among different orgs who have hurt me. My plan is to hurt them,” and “the only thing that helps is revenge.” Traficante also sent the Victim’s housemates numerous threatening voicemails, including one with a voice disguising device that stated, “I’m in the house.” The Victim changed her telephone number in order to avoid the defendant but he contacted her new telephone and her housemates, stating, “your all crazy if you think I’m not still out there.”
In addition, posing as the Victim, Traficante created a false prostitution advertisement on Backpage.com, which included the Victim’s new telephone number. The Victim received over 60 telephone calls from men seeking sexual encounters. Traficante also hacked into the Victim’s email and social media accounts, cellular telephone, as well as her and college account, which contained her grades, tests and assignments.
On one occasion, the defendant sent the Victim a message asking where she was together with a screenshot of her physical location. Such communications caused the Victim emotional distress. Traficante also hacked the Victim’s Amazon account and purchased a book about stalking, titled “I’m Watching You,” and sent it to her.
In November 2017, Traficante used a BB gun to shoot out the window of the Victim’s parents’ vehicle parked outside of their home as well as a window in their house.
Also, the defendant sent cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, to the Victim’s college mailbox on November 2 and anonymously contacted university police to advise them a package containing cocaine was being mailed to the Victim. Then, on November 8, 2017, Traficante mailed MDMA, a Schedule I controlled substance, to the Victim. On November 20, 2017, the defendant mailed a third package to the Victim which once again contained cocaine.
The investigation also identified a prior victim who Traficante subjected to similar digital harassment in 2014-2015.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin P. Lyons, and the Geneseo University Police, under the direction of Chief Thomas Kilcullen.
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.