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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking, Making Interstate Threats

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA – An Odessa, Texas man, who had an online relationship with a juvenile female in the Western District of Virginia, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg to cyberstalking and making interstate threats to the girl’s family following her suicide. United State Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division made the announcement today.

Adrian Raul O’Dell, 20, was charged in October of 2019 and arrested the following month at his home in Texas. He pleaded guilty today to two counts of cyberstalking and one count of making interstate threats. 

“Today’s guilty plea demonstrates that online conduct can cause victims serious harm and cyberstalking will not be tolerated. With increasing amounts of our lives and business being conducted online, these kinds of cases remain a priority for this office,” First Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar said today. “I am grateful for the hard work of the FBI and the Warren County Sheriff’s office in identifying this defendant and bringing him to Virginia to face justice.”

“The facts of this case speak for themselves and are saddening to us all.   Although today’s plea will not make up for the loss to the victim’s family or the pain they endured, we hope it reassures them of the FBI's full commitment to investigate such matters to the fullest extent of the law,” Special Agent in Charge Archey said today. “We are grateful for the assistance of the United States Attorney's Office, the FBI's El Paso Field Office/Midland Resident Agency and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office for their diligence and assistance in this investigation.”

According to court documents, between September 2017 and around March 2018, O’Dell had an online relationship with a 16-year-old girl who lived in Linden, Virginia. In May 2018, following an investigation by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, it was determined that the girl died by suicide in a wooded area near her home.

The indictment alleges that from June 2018 through June 2019, O’Dell, using a variety of false email and online personas, took credit for her suicide.  The defendant then sent threatening and intimidating messages to her family members and friends that placed them in reasonable fear of death and serious bodily harm. In addition, these messages attempted to cause friends and family members substantial emotional distress.  The defendant sent certain of these messages in violation of a protective order.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Warren County Sherriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Kate Rumsey is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated May 27, 2020