A California man who used social media to stalk and threaten the families of American mass shooting victims has been sentenced to 66 months in a federal prison.
Brandon Michael Fleury, of Santa Ana, was convicted of cyber-stalking and sending a kidnapping threat to the friends and family of people who were killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. The mass shooting, which occurred in 2018, left 17 students dead.
To commit his crimes, 22-year-old Fleury created 13 different Instagram accounts, using a barrage of aliases, including alleged Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz and executed serial killer Ted Bundy.
Fleury would then post malicious messages, tagging the friends and families of Parkland shooting victims.
These messages, posted from December 28, 2018, to January 11, 2019, included statements like, “I’m your abductor I’m kidnapping you fool,” “With the power of my AR-15, you all die,” and “With the power of my AR-15, I take your loved ones away from you PERMANENTLY.”
Many of the messages, including ones written under usernames referring to Cruz and containing Cruz’s profile picture, directly taunted victims’ friends and families about the deaths of their loved ones in the Parkland shooting.
One message, targeting Jesse Guttenberg, who lost a sister in the attack, read: “I took Jaime away from you. You’ll never see her again hahaha.”
Aliases used on Instagram by Fleury included @teddykillspeople and @nikolas.killed.your.sister.
Upon examining tablets owned by Fleury, law enforcement found thousands of saved images of the notorious Bundy along with images of Fleury’s targeted victims. Police also found saved screenshots of the messages that Fleury had sent to his victims.
Fleury was arrested in the Santa Ana home he shared with his father and brother and charged in January 2019. Law enforcement tracked him down after subpoenaing Instagram for IP addresses and account information related to the threatening and harassing posts.
Following his convictions for interstate transmission of a threat to kidnap and interstate cyber-stalking, US District Judge Rudolfo A. Ruiz II sentenced Fleury on Monday to a 66-month custodial sentence.
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