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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Olean Man Pleads Guilty To Cyberstalking

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Luke Marshall Wenke, 29, of Olean, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. to cyberstalking. 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 between January 23 and January 24, 2022, Wenke threatened to injure an individual identified as R.G. in Minnesota. R.G. is a criminal defense attorney who represents an acquaintance of Wenke’s in a criminal matter in the District of Minnesota. Beginning in September 2020, Wenke grew dissatisfied with the representation that R.G. provided to the acquaintance, and began to harass and threaten R.G. Between September 22, 2020, and January 24, 2022, Wenke sent R.G. more than 76 emails, a voicemail, made two phone calls to R.G.’s law firm, and attempted to visit R.G.’s law firm in-person on one occasion, in addition to numerous fake internet reviews of R.G.’s law firm. Several of the communications referenced Wenke’s possession of firearms, and/or his familiarity with explosives.

On January 23, 2022, Wenke sent R.G. an email in which he stated, among other things, “They say men respect each other after a fight. 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.” On January 24, 2022, Wenke sent another email to R.G. in which he stated, among other things, “This fight will happen, do not fear and do not worry. Do not cross certain lines. Oh boy do I have work to do tomorrow.” That same day, Wenke sent another email and attached a photo depicting an aerial view of R.G.’s residence.

The plea 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.                      

Sentencing is scheduled for August 18, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Sinatra.  

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Topic(s): 
Cybercrime
Updated May 9, 2022