Thomas Traficante of Seaford, 23, was sentenced to 48 months in prison, officials say.
Long Island, NY - June 25, 2018 - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Thomas Traficante, 23, of Long Island, NY, who was convicted of cyberstalking and distribution of a controlled substance, was sentenced to 48 months by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer
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.
Judge Larimer admonished the defendant for terrorizing the Victim and the campus of Geneseo with threats that would result in “as much destruction as possible” and possibly death to the students attending Geneseo. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marangola told the court that, although there is no way to determine whether Traficante would have actually shot up the campus, a loaded AR 15 rifle was located in his residence at the time of his arrest. Marangola argued the verbal threats, the possession of the firearm and his escalating behavior were extremely concerning and that his arrest may have stopped a tragedy.
“I applaud the efforts of the members of the Geneseo University Police who did a tremendous job is tracking down the source of threatening text messages sent to students,” said U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Their efforts very well may have prevented an unspeakable act of violence from occurring resulting in tragedy and heartbreak.”
The investigation also identified a prior victim who Traficante subjected to similar digital harassment in 2014-2015.
Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Geneseo University Police, under the direction of Chief Thomas Kilcullen, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.